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Marquez Valdes-Scantling’s incentive-laden Buffalo Bills contract details, explained

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By: Matt Warren

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills signed former Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling but what’s it cost?

The Buffalo Bills have signed former Kansas City Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to be a new pass-catching option for Josh Allen. Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane has continued to stock the receiver room with good-not-great options since trading Stefon Diggs in the hopes that the sum will add up to an improvement and they can find production.

The numbers for Valdes-Scantling’s deal came out fairly quickly, and Beane utilized Not Likely To Be Earned incentives to keep it very low on Buffalo’s salary cap. Adam Schefter said the deal was “up top $4.5 million”.

As part of the deal, Valdes-Scantling received a $1.125 million signing bonus. The minimum salary for Scantling is $1.125 million. Together, that’s $2.25 million. It won’t shock me if the base salary is fully guaranteed, but we don’t have that reported yet. The rest of the deal is based on performance.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement splits incentives into Likely To Be Earned (LTBE) and Not Likely To Be Earned (NLTBE). The LTBE incentives were benchmarks the player hit last year while NLTBE incentives weren’t met the prior season. If it’s NLTBE, it doesn’t count on the current year salary cap. If the player achieves the benchmark, it’s added to the following year’s cap commitment.

MVS had a bit of a down year last year, so Beane didn’t want to pay him a lot of money. He also has had successful seasons in the past, so he probably wanted more. Using the incentives is a way to balance the two sides and pay for production. And looking at the Bills’ receiver room, MVS has a real chance to hit the incentives.

Here are the incentives via Ari Meirov:

Catches:
– 25 catches: $250K
– 40 catches: another $250K
– 55 catches: another $250K

Yards:
– 350 yards: $250K
– 550 yards: another $250K
– 750 yards: another $250K

Touchdowns:
– 3 TDs: $250K
– 5 TDs: another $250K
– 7 TDs: another $250K

MVS finished last regular season with 21 receptions for 315 yards and 1 touchdown. You can see the Bills placed those incentives just over those numbers. That’s $2.25 million available in incentives.

We also don’t have the void years the Bills may have used to spread out the signing bonus hit. It won’t change the numbers terribly much. It’s the main reason to give him a signing bonus instead of guaranteed salary, though. Here is what it looks like with the maximum number of void years:

2024
Signing bonus: $225,000
Incentives: Up to $2.25 million NLTBE
Base salary: $1.125 million

Cap hit: $1.35 million
Total cash: $2.25 to $4.5 million based on incentives

2025
Dead cap hit if not re-signed: $900,000 plus incentives hit

Originally posted on Buffalo Rumblings