Counting the Bills: Safeties

July, 18, 2014
7/18/14
5:00
AM ET
Continuing a series analyzing the economics of the Buffalo Bills' roster, position by position:

Position: Safety

Total cap value: $8,624,878
Compared to NFL average: 6.8 percent less
NFL positional rank: 17th

Portion of Bills' total cap number: 6 percent

2014 cap numbers:
Aaron Williams: $4.231 million (7th on Bills, 17th among NFL safeties)
Da'Norris Searcy: $1.552 million (Bills: 24th; NFL: 41st)
Duke Williams: $612,563 (Bills: 45th; NFL: 100th)
Jonathan Meeks: $544,500 (Bills: 53rd; NFL: 131st)
Kenny Ladler: $422,500 (Bills: tied for 71st; NFL: tied for 175th)
Deon Broomfield: $421,667 (Bills: tied for 74th; NFL: tied for 179th)
Derek Brim: $420,333 (Bills: 77th; NFL: tied for 192nd)
Jajuan Harley: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 193rd)

Average per year:
A. Williams: $6.501 million (5th on Bills, 12th among NFL safeties)
D. Williams: $657,563 (Bills: 40th; NFL: 96th)
Searcy: $631,106 (Bills: 44th; NFL: 104th)
Meeks: $589,500 (Bills: 49th; NFL: 112th)
Ladler: $512,500 (Bills: 61st; NFL: 147th)
Broomfield: $511,667 (Bills: 64th; NFL: tied for 151st)
Brim: $510,333 (Bills: 67th; NFL: tied for 164th)
Harley: $510,000 (Bills: tied for 68th; NFL: tied for 165th)

Most overpaid: Aaron Williams. With another strong season, he may very well be deserving of the four-year extension he received in March, but right now the deal could be considered too much of a forward projection. The move came shortly after the Bills decided not to assign the franchise to Jarius Byrd and the Bills said the two decisions were separate. If that's true, then that means the Bills felt ready to hand Williams the new deal after one good season in Mike Pettine's system. Was it necessary? The team could have waited to see if Williams, who was entering the final season of his rookie deal, could string together two good seasons. Yes, doing so would run the risk of Williams becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber player and seeking an even larger deal next spring. But instead of making Williams the fifth-highest paid player on the team less than 12 months after being one of the Bills' bigger draft busts in recent years, I think the more prudent move would have been to wait it out.

Most underpaid: None. The Bills received minimal contributions from Duke Williams and Meeks, their fourth- and fifth-round picks in 2013. Williams stands a chance to beat out Searcy for the starting safety job but wasn't able to crack the first team by the end of minicamp. Until either of the two young safeties emerges, it's tough to call any player at this position underpaid.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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