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Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Counting the Bills: Wide receivers

By Mike Rodak

Continuing a series analyzing the economics of the Buffalo Bills roster, position by position:

Position: Wide receiver

Total cap value: $11,768,271
Compared to NFL average: 26.3 percent less
NFL positional rank: 25th

Portion of Bills' total cap number: 8.5 percent

2014 cap numbers:
Sammy Watkins: $3.624 million (10th on Bills, 39th among NFL wide receivers)
Mike Williams: $1.8 million (Bills: 23rd; NFL: tied for 60th)
Robert Woods: $1.106 million (Bills: 27th; NFL: 84th)
T.J. Graham: $777,813 (Bills: 33rd; NFL: 103rd)
Marcus Easley: $730,000 (Bills: tied for 35th; NFL: tied for 106th)
Ramses Barden: $730,000 (Bills: tied for 35th; NFL: tied for 106th)
Marquise Goodwin: $674,719 (Bills: 40th; NFL: 119th)
Kevin Elliott: $570,000 (Bills: tied for 47th; NFL: tied for 160th)
Chris Hogan: $495,000 (Bills: tied for 59th; NFL: tied for 205th)
Chris Summers: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 295th)
Caleb Holley: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 295th)
Cordell Roberson: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 295th)

Average per year:
Williams: $7.924 million (2nd on Bills, 15th among NFL wide receivers)
Watkins: $4.983 million (Bills: 8th; NFL: 29th)
Woods: $1.216 million (Bills: 24th; NFL: 76th)
Barden: $737,500 (Bills: tied for 35th; NFL: 115th)
Graham: $725,313 (Bills: 37th; NFL: 122nd)
Goodwin: $713,469 (Bills: 38th; NFL: 124th)
Easley: $533,333 (Bills: 58th; NFL: 208th)
Holley: $510,000 (Bills: tied for 68th; NFL: tied for 259th)
Hogan: $495,000 (Bills: tied for 77th; NFL: tied for 305th)
Elliott: $480,000 (Bills: 83rd; NFL: tied for 328th)
Summers: $465,000 (Bills: tied for 84th; NFL: tied for 334th)
Roberson: $445,000 (Bills: 90th; NFL: tied for 366th)

Most overpaid: Williams and Stevie Johnson. Split honors here. Williams has a manageable cap number this season but his contract balloons after that. His $5.2 million base salary next season is fully guaranteed and if the Bills want to keep him around in 2016 or later, his cap numbers will be $7.2 million, $7.5 million, and $8.75 million. Williams will need to play at a high level to justify the money he receives later in his contract. Meanwhile, after trading Johnson, the Bills have a $10.225 million dead-money hit against their cap this season. That's a sizable chunk of change for someone who won't contribute to the team this season.

Most underpaid: Woods. There isn't much Woods or the Bills could do about this, as the NFL doesn't permit renegotiations of rookie contracts until after the third season. Woods caught 40 passes for 587 yards last season, but you have to wonder how he would have performed if the Bills didn't have a revolving door at quarterback. On a better team and with a better quarterback, Woods may have received more attention than he did. He showed well this spring and could be part of a revitalized Bills offense this season. If he can prove himself in his second season, Woods may enter his third professional season as one of the more underpaid players on the team. The potential is there.