Earlier in the week the Buffalo Bills and Ed Oliver had agreed to a 4 year extension that has an average annual value (AAV) of $17 million. At first glance, I was confused, but after this breakdown, it will make perfect sense to you and I as to why it’s another great move by Brandon Beane and the front office in Buffalo

$68 million is quite a lot to shovel out to any player, but the $17 million dollar AAV makes him the 11th highest paid defensive tackle on an average annual basis for the 2023 season according to Spotrac. With the cap projecting to explode over the next several years, and extensions coming in for players like division rival Quinnen Williams and other defensive tackles who need contract renewals, right now was the perfect time to sign Oliver to his big extension.

1Aaron Donald$31,666,667
2Jeffery Simmons$23,500,000
3Daron Payne$22,500,000
4Dexter Lawrence$21,875,000
5Javon Hargrave$21,000,000
6DeForest Buckner$21,000,000
7Chris Jones$20,000,000
8Jonathan Allen$18,000,000
9Vita Vea$17,750,000
10Kenny Clark$17,500,000
11Ed Oliver$17,000,000
12Grady Jarrett$16,823,333
13Dalvin Tomlinson$14,250,000
14D.J Reader$13,250,000

Now for the structure of the deal.

In total, Oliver gets $64,000,000 over 4 years with $45,000,000 of it being guaranteed, or 3/4ths. With how the money is structured, he will receive $47,128,000 by the end of 2025, and can be released with a small cap charge of $5,900,000 in 2026 and $2,950,000 in 2027. The money is spread out as follows (via Spotrac)

YearAgeBase SalarySigning BonusCap HitDead Cap
As you can see, with 2023 being the 5th year option and 2024 having a cap hit below $10 million, it quickly jumps to over $20 million a season for 3 years. If the value for the $ is not there, Oliver could quickly become a cut candidate in 2026. One of the clear benefits to extending Ed Oliver now instead of after the 2023 season is that his dead cap is lower in the later years of his contract and makes it easier to release him if needed. He also receives $24,500,000 at signing.

Putting contract numbers aside, Ed Oliver does have a consistency problem. He is a really good and talented player. However it is a lot more flashes than that elite consistency that opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks alike would fear. If Oliver can start to find consistency, this contract could become one of the best Beane has ever signed. Over 4 seasons in Buffalo, he has accumulated 151 tackles and 14.5 sacks.

What should we expect from Oliver moving forward? Being paired with some big movers on the defensive line in DaQuan Jones, Jordan Phillips and Poona Ford will certainly help Oliver not only play more consistently, but allow him to play fulltime as a 3T defensive tackle and focus on disrupting and rui

Whether he can put it all together and be the great player he was thought to be out of the draft is yet to be seen. In the odd chance he severely underperforms, there is an out after 2025 like we discussed earlier. In the event that Oliver is released after the 2025 season, it would cost the Bills $5,900,000 of dead cap in 2026 and $2,950,000 of dead cap in 2027. After that he is completely off the books. Cutting Ed Oliver would be pushing disaster territory and he would have to be quite putrid to even be considered to getting cut, considering lots of Bills Mafia wanted to cut him this season to get money for free agent Deandre Hopkins. But for now, he is a Buffalo Bill, and he is here to stay.

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