The Buffalo Bills have closed out their June mini camp with a contract extension still on the floor for Jordan Poyer. The 30 year old safety is coming off a career year where he was selected to the AP’s first All-Pro team and led the team in interceptions(5) and second in total combined tackles(93). Poyer is deserving of his last major contract and has expressed interest staying with the team where he has made his name in the NFL, but only at the right price. However that price has exploded in recent years with big contracts for Jamal Adams, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Justin Simmons. Let’s look at the contract trends, where they started and how we got here, and prepare Bills’ fans for what Poyer may land when pen finally meets paper.
Where We Came From: 2017 Top Contracts
In 2017 the NFL’s top earning safety was Devin McCourty who held a cap hit of 10.935 million dollars. McCourty topped a group of Earl Thomas, Mike Mitchell, Tyrann Mathieu and Barry Church the top 2 players in that list made north of 10 million a year. McCourty would currently be the 6th highest paid safety in 2022, one spot above Poyer who currently is slated to make 10.776 million this upcoming season. In 2017 McCourty was the same age Poyer currently is and had just come off of a 2016 season where he made the Pro Bowl and was nominated to the AP’s All-Pro second team. Poyer’s 2021 season topped McCourty in every statistic in 2016 and would have easily been in contention for the top safety contract in the NFL.
Where Are We Now: Current Top Safety Contracts
2022 saw big safety free agents Marcus Williams, DJ Reed and Justin Reid sign contracts that will pay them all over 10 million dollars annually. However all of their cap hits have been lowered for the 2022 season leaving the top 5 to be existing contracts held over from previous offseason cycles. Justin Simmons, of the Denver Broncos, is set to make the most this year at 18.850 million. The value of that top contract is an increase of over 70%. However the race at the top drops off by 3 million before reaching the likes of Eddie Jackson, Budda Baker, Jimmy Ward and Jessie Bates. Poyer is currently ranked 6th, making 2 million less than Bates in the coming season. In 2021 Poyer finished with higher interception totals than all of the layers ranked above him, and only Baker ranks higher than him in total tackles.
What does a Jordan Poyer Extension Look Like
We’ve looked back at the progress of top safety contracts so let’s answer the main question. What does a Jordan Poyer extension look like for the Buffalo Bills? Taking an average of the top 3 current contracts gives us a contract that would be an average of 16.238 million. That would be a 5.5 million raise for the star safety and make him the second highest earner of the 2022 group. However, come 2023 the market takes a jump.
Kevin Byard(19.623) will be the highest paid come next year’s offseason. Harrison Smith is set to make over 19 million AAV and 4 others are on the books for 18+. With our estimated contract total Poyer would be the 9th highest paid safety in the league. Due to this rise in the top of the safety class Poyer will most likely campaign for somewhere north of 18.5 a year which would be an increase of over 8 million dollars against the Bills cap. The salary cap is projected to be near 230 million come the summer of 2023, an increase of 25 million dollars. This increase should allow the Bills to lock up their star defensive back until his retirement.
Final Verdict: 3 years, 58.5 million(19.5 million AAV)
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