Each week, I'll take my favorite question (please, no campaigning) from the Bills Mailbag and devote a separate post to it. Want yours answered? Every Wednesday morning, I'll put out the call for questions, so submit it then.
This week's question comes from Frank Propis, who asks on Twitter: How much longer does Cordy Glenn last with his injury troubles and relative lack of scheme fit?
The earliest the Bills could move on from Glenn is after this season. They’d have to do that before the third day of the new league year in March, when $6.5 million of his base salary becomes guaranteed. If the Bills were to cut Glenn at that point, they’d save a little more than $3 million in cap space in 2018, although Glenn could potentially cost more than $11 million in “dead money.” Potentially, that is, because the team could designated him as a "June 1" cut, which would spread out the amount of dead money over two years. That would put the Bills on the hook for $4.7 million in 2018 and $6.4 million in 2019. The cap savings in 2018 in that case would be $9.75 million.
There is also the possibility of a trade. If the Bills were to do that before June 1, they would save $4.85 million in 2018 cap space, while taking a "dead money" hit of $9.6 million.
There are a few different ways the Bills could decide to move on from Glenn. No. 1 would be if his troublesome foot injury develops into something that becomes a long-term concern for his playing future. If the Bills are worried about Glenn's ability to not just stay on the field, but also be the player worth a contract that includes a $14.45 million cap hit in 2018, they need to be convinced he's healthy.
No. 2 would be if there was an obvious successor on the roster ready to take his place. The Bills drafted Dion Dawkins in the second round this year and worked him at left tackle while Glenn was out this summer. Dawkins, however, couldn’t unseat Jordan Mills at right tackle, so anointing him as Glenn’s successor right now might be presumptuous. If Glenn can’t stay healthy and we get a longer look at Dawkins playing left tackle, that will give us a better idea of how ready he is to take over that position. With six picks in the first three round of the 2018 draft, the Bills will be able to add depth at several positions, including left tackle.
It's important to remember that Glenn signed his current contract when former General Manager Doug Whaley was in charge. We've seen how much the current front office led by Brandon Beane has distanced itself from Whaley's guys.
As for the scheme fit, the team drafted Dawkins, who is not all that different from Glenn from a physical standpoint. I'm not convinced Glenn can't play in Dennison's scheme, although the coaching staff might not share the same sentiment.
So how much longer will it take to move on? I'd say it could happen as soon as after this year, although if he stays healthy and is productive, the Bills can easily bring him back for at least 2018. That would be one less hole on the roster to fill. At 28, Glenn is young enough to play at a high level for at least the next few seasons.