It remains unclear if the Bills will cut quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick before he earns a $3 million roster bonus.
The “when” is clear. With a $3 million roster bonus due on the second day of the league year, the Bills have to decide whether to pay the money and keep him, or to avoid the payment by cutting him.
Option three would consist of a renegotiation that entails less money being paid to Fitzpatrick in 2013 and/or beyond.
The team’s plan remains unclear. With Tarvaris Jackson under contract, the Bills have a fallback option, in the event they cut Fitzpatrick and don’t find anyone else. (Then again, that fallback plan could cause the Bills to fall back to 3-13.)
Fitzpatrick also is due to earn a base salary of $4.25 million in 2013, along with a $200,000 workout bonus.
If the Bills cut him before Tuesday, they’ll carry $10 million in dead money. If they cut him on Tuesday after 4:00 p.m. ET with a post-June 1 designation, his cap hit would drop to $3 million this year and $7 million in 2014.
Either way, the Bills would save $7.45 million in cash by moving on.