Clarification to "Fuzzy Math" Article

Some confusion was generated as a result of my latest piece to which readers have made clear exists. I hold myself accountable for not having elaborated better in that piece. The essential facts and premises of the piece stand however.

The confusion lay in the way the cap hits were worded. What was meant that the overall minimal cap hit was greater under the rework than it was prior to the rework of Bledsoe's contract. The piece was written in the context of total risk, total necessary expenditures and cap hits incurred not strictly an analysis of the current year cap situation. In short, the circumstances of both deals are summarized below.

Original Deal:

Bledsoe possessive of a contract following this season that absolutely no GM/team in the league would adhere to. I.e., any restructuring at all would "save money."

$8 million against current year cap with absolutely no strings necessarily attached to that allowing the Bills to walk away cleanly following this season should Bledsoe do what he does and has done throughout his career now.

No cap hit henceforth in any season hereafter, therefore absolutely no future risks whatsoever.

Correspondingly, no further delays in the development of a team that presumably is attempting to move forward except at the QB position and a position which the team apparently is averse and reluctant to moving forward with.

Bills in the driver's seat as to disposition of Bledsoe following an assessment of his play over the first portion of the season. A rework could have occurred at any point up through the end of October, seven games into the season and well more than enough to firmly realize whether Bledsoe can play with the current cast or not. Frankly, four or five games should paint the picture nicely as Bledsoe sits on a team with arguably more skill position offensive talent than any other team in the league now. A rookie Evans should not be the difference on this team for whomever the QB is. Note: Bledsoe is an 11-year veteran QB who has started in every season in which he has participated, he is not a third year rookie with little playing experience.

Reworked Deal:

$8.75 million against the cap minimum total, likely more, an additional minimum 750K beyond the original deal with strings attached now beyond this season.

A contract not worthy of keeping if Bledsoe is to be a backup, at least not if wisdom prevails. I.e., he either plays like a capable veteran starter without issue or is released. Yet, the Bills will not be solely in the driver's seat in determining that now.

A cap hit transfer from this season to next. Barring a signing of a premier, in-his-prime OL-man after 6/1, the cap money next season in a fully stocked free agent market will prove to be more valuable than it will be this season. Assumption: Rookies, including two first-rounders, can be fit under the current available cap room. If not, then no premier lineman is likely to emerge regardless.

Bottom line:

Deal may be OK if Bledsoe plays as he traditionally has not throughout his career. Otherwise, a portion of the future was mortgaged for a needless additional risk taken that will impact the future of the franchise. If the Bills enter this season significantly below the current year cap figure, this deal will have made even less sense. Under any circumstances, the deal is good if Bledsoe produces; it is bad if he does not and introduces additional risks and cap woes if he does not. History suggests the latter. Only time will tell which one bears itself out.

Regardless, the entire season of the Bills hinges on Bledsoe's performance. If he is released following this season, then this rework will have cost the Bills more, not less, overall and more in the future, needlessly.

Once again, an apology is issued for not having explained this in greater detail thus providing some readers with reason to be confused.

Comments: mweiler.billsreport@cox.net


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