While it’s not set in stone, Matt Cassel is the presumptive favorite to be the Bills’ starting quarterback after the club acquired him from the Vikings in exchange for two draft picks. And while he’s not the QB of the future in Buffalo, the team does hope to work out an extension with the 32-year-old as a means of creating more cap space, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).
The Bills currently have less than $7M in cap space to work with, and with a 2015 draft class still to sign, the club could use a bit more wiggle room if they hope to add any additional free agents. Buffalo doesn’t have a first-round pick this year (as a result of moving up to select Sammy Watkins in ’14), meaning they’ll probably have the cheapest rookie class to sign. But an extension for Cassel, who has one year and $4.75MM left on his contract, could create the room needed to bring in a few street free agents.
In negotiating an extension, the Bills would likely seek to bring down Cassel’s $4.15MM base salary and give him a signing bonus, spreading the cap hit over multiple seasons. But because of Cassel’s age, I’d think Buffalo would be wary of committing any money to him too far down the line. As such, simply adding one more year to his deal and extending him through 2016 might be the best bet.