Star Lotulelei signed a lucrative deal with the Bills in 2018. The veteran defensive tackle agreed Tuesday to restructure it.
The former Panthers first-round pick will see a $1.75MM reduction in his 2020 base salary in exchange for that figure — now set to be $4.50MM — becoming fully guaranteed, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This will essentially ensure Lotulelei remains with the Bills this season.
The sides also agreed on additional guarantees for the 2021 season. Lotulelei will receive an extra $2.5MM in injury guarantees for next year. His contract, which previously contained no guaranteed money beyond 2019, runs through the 2022 season. It will still tag the Bills with more than $5MM in dead money to release Lotulelei in 2021.
The Bills have used Lotulelei as a starter in each of the past two seasons, and even though Pro Football Focus has not viewed the nose tackle as particularly productive, the team has him stationed as one of its top 2020 cap figures. Lotulelei played 516 snaps this past season, recording two sacks.
Buffalo stands to gain minimally from this restructure, but the team is not exactly hurting for cap space. The Bills entered Tuesday projected to hold just more than $80MM in 2020 cap room.
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