Buffalo Bills Make Subtle Salary Cap Move to Free up Money for Odell Beckham Jr.

After his release from the Cleveland Browns last season, Odell Beckham Jr. signed with the Los Angeles Rams and helped push them over the top to win the Super Bowl. This season, coming off a knee injury suffered in the Big Game, Beckham is once again a free agent, and several teams are vying for his signature to help take them to the next level. Reports are that the mercurial wideout has narrowed down his options to a few franchises, and the Buffalo Bills are one of them. That’s what makes the Bills’ latest subtle salary cap move so interesting.

The Buffalo Bills cleared enough room to sign Odell Beckham Jr. 

(L-R) Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane, free-agent WR Odell Beckham Jr.
(L-R) Brandon Beane, Odell Beckham Jr. | Bryan Bennett/Getty Images; Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills’ salary cap situation was rough heading into Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season. After trading Zack Moss for Nyheim Hines at the trade deadline and having to sign players and promote them from the practice squad due to injury, the Bills were down to a league-low $332,000 in 2022 salary cap space, according to Bills beat reporter Sal Cappacio on Twitter.

To deal with this situation and give themselves a little breathing room, the Bills converted $2,971,667 of injured cornerback Tre’Davious White’s 2022 base salary into a signing bonus. That simple contract restructure for White — who should be coming back any week now from his Thanksgiving 2021 knee injury — created $2,228,750 in salary cap space for the Bills.

No matter what happens moving forward, this was a smart and fiscally responsible move for general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills, giving them extra flexibility moving forward to deal with injuries.

The interesting piece of the salary cap move is that it puts them well over the veteran minimum for eight years of NFL service that a player like, say, Odell Beckahm Jr. could sign for. And it gets them more than halfway to the $4.25 million the Rams paid OBJ last season.

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According to multiple reports, as Odell Beckham Jr. gets closer to coming back from his knee injury, he’s narrowed his choices down to three teams.

Initially, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers were rumored to be on Beckham’s list of potential teams. However, with the Chiefs trade for Kadarius Toney and the 49ers deal for Christian McCaffrey, those teams are now out.

Beckham now has a three-team list that includes the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and his first NFL team, the New York Giants. The WR will visit all three teams in the next week to help him make his decision.

The Giants started out the season burning up the NFL but have cooled significantly in the last few weeks. He would be the No. 1 WR option there, but Daniel Jones is by far the worst QB of this group.

With his brash personality and love of big cities and the spotlight, Dallas seems to be an ideal fit. There, he would work with Dak Prescott, who can be frustrating for a receiver to play with at times, and he would be the No. 4 option behind the running game, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup.

On the Bills, Beckham would play with the best QB of the bunch in Josh Allen and his former Rams Super Bowl-winning teammate and good buddy, Von Miller. And with Gabriel Davis struggling with drops the last few weeks, OBJ has the chance to be the No. 2 option behind Stefon Diggs on many days.

Also, as suggested above, he’d likely have to take the biggest pay cut to come to Buffalo.

No matter what Beckham decides, it seems clear a decision is coming soon, and that could shift the balance of power in the NFL for the second-consecutive season.