Live updates on players coming and going

The official start of free agency doesn’t happen until 4 p.m. Wednesday, but every now and then, Teams and players will come to agreements on tradesalways one of the busiest and most informative two-day periods of the NFL season.

First job order for The Bills should start chipping away at their salary cap That started at $17.7 million before general manager Brandon Bean began the contract restructuring process late last week.

There may also be some player releases in the next few days trying to not only get the cap in line, but lower it so that Beane can bolster the roster with free agents.

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Here’s the latest on what a Buffalo bills You’re done, and you can continue to check for updates here for the next couple of days.

Tremaine Edmonds transfers to the Chicago Bears

Five years of investment and development has just come off the premises on One Bills Drive as Edmunds is reported to be signing a major financial deal with the Bears.

The numbers in there are a four-year, $72 million contract with about $50 million in guaranteed money for the guy who was Buffalo’s second first-round pick in 2018, and has been a starter ever since.

At $18 million a season, that was clearly too much for the Bills to handle, but they now have a huge gap in the middle of their defense. Fans have often been divided on Edmonds, but at only 25 years old, he probably still has a long career ahead of him, and he’s coming off the best season in his time with Buffalo.

If it continues to rise, the Bills may regret this day.

The Bills sign Conor McGovern to replace Rodger Savold

You can write off one of the biggest holes the Bills need to fill this season with the report that they’re signing the former Cowboys left guard to a three-year contract worth up to $23 million.

McGovern is a former third-round draft pick in 2019 from Penn State who sat out that entire season with a torn pectoral muscle, then was a part-time starter in 2020 and 2021 before taking over as a full-time member in 2022. He started all 15 games he played in.

Of the 53 guards who played at least 700 snaps last season, the 6-foot-5, 308-pounder was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the best pass blocker because he allowed just two sacks and 23 pressures on 548 passes. However, he was not an effective blocker in the running game as he ranked 52nd, one point behind Savold.

Case Keenum signed with Texas

The Bills will be in the market for a backup quarterback as the 35-year-old Keenum signs with Houston, leaving only Matt Barkley behind Josh Allen. Barkley is no longer worthy of a backup because he’s a tough coaching staff option.

Keenum cost the bills $6 million last year and there are many players that can be signed as insurance policies that cost less than Keenum. One of them could be Sam Darnold, who was selected four spots ahead of Allen in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Jets. However, Darnold agreed to a one-year deal with the 49ers.

Allen’s good buddy, Kyle Allen, could be a logical replacement for Keenum. Allen has started games for the Panthers, Chiefs, and Texans since entering the NFL in 2018.

There will be no gambler vacancy for the Buffalo Bills

One of Buffalo’s scheduled free agents was Sam Martin, the punter they signed at the last minute before the 2022 season when the team cut ties with rookie Matt Ariza. Martin, a 10-year veteran formerly with the Lions and Broncos, set out to give the Bills one of the best kicking seasons in recent memory.

He averaged 47.7 total yards, the second-best of his career, and 42.1 net yards, his third-best mark. The bills saw value in that and confirmed they were re-signing it. As always, they didn’t give out terms, but reports suggest it’s a three-year, $6 million deal with a $2.36 million guarantee and incentives included that could net him more. That’s a significant increase from the $1.1 million he earned last year, but it also gives the Bills a reasonable chance of escaping after 2023 with minimal lethal strikes.

Staying with special teams, the Bills confirmed they were re-signing one of the core members of those units, Tyler Matakiewicz. It’s a 1 year deal with 1 year void, cost not available yet. I thought the Bills might decide to move on from the 30-year-old who earned $3.2 million last season. It will be interesting to see the numbers and if he takes a pay cut to stay in Buffalo.

Nyheim Hines is ready to provide cover comfort

Hines was one of the obvious places Bean would go to get a break from the cover. The contract he signed with the Colts carried a cap of $4.8 million in 2023 which is quite a lot for a backup. Also, there was no cap on the deal if it was cut, so if the Bills wanted to move forward, that’s an instant savings of $4.8 million.

Instead, he agreed to turn some of his base salary into a signing bonus, and according to Mike Garafolo, there would be incentives built into his rework contract that could earn him more money than $4.8 million.

Hines is the starting kicker and primary punt returner, and when you factor that into the signings of Martin and Matakevich, it once again highlights the importance the Bills place on special teams.

Matt Milano agrees to a two-year extension

Linebacker Matt Milano has agreed a two-year contract extension that keeps him in Buffalo through 2026.

Linebacker Matt Milano has agreed a two-year contract extension that keeps him in Buffalo through 2026.

Beane began looking for the cap deficit over the weekend by making a pair of contract adjustments, one saving a little space, one creating a great part.

Defensive tackle Tim Settle, who has a contract that expires after 2023 but has a void year in 2024, agreed to pay some of his money for 2023 to that void year giving the Bills about $600,000 in relief. Hey, every dollar counts.

But the biggest move came on Sunday when they extended fullback Matt Milano’s contract – which was due to expire after 2024 – by two years, freeing up $6 million.

Beane doesn’t like making these restructured deals because at some point in the future, the bill is due. But for someone like Milano, one of the best players on the team who’s just turned 27 and coming off the All-Pro season, it makes sense because unless there’s an unexpected bereavement injury or a sharp drop in his performance, Milano will still be. At its inception in 2026.

more:Five free agents the Buffalo Bills should sign and why

more:Bills salary cap status: Which contracts can be restructured, and which players can cut

more:Buffalo Bills list of 23 free agents: Here’s who they should keep, and who they’d let go

This also locks out one of the starting linebackers while the Bills wait to see what happens with other unrestricted free agent Tremaine Edmonds.

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This article originally appeared on the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle website: Free Billing Agency Tracker: Live updates on players coming and going

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