Brandon Beane isn't messing around.
The Buffalo Bills' general manager swung his second huge trade Monday in a matter of days, sending left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Cincinnati Bengals. The trade, which was first reported by ESPN's Josina Anderson, was confirmed to The Buffalo News by a league source.
The complete terms of the trade are as follows: The Bills will send Glenn and two draft picks – No. 21 in the first round and No. 158 in the fifth round – to the Bengals in exchange for the No. 12 overall pick in the first round and No. 187 in the sixth round.
The deal, which cannot be made official until the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. Wednesday, comes just three days after Beane agreed to send quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a third-round draft pick, No. 65 overall. Trading Glenn before Sunday will mean the Bills avoid having to pay him a $2 million roster bonus that is due Sunday. Glenn will count $9.6 million against the Bills' salary cap in 2018, but the team will save $4.85 million in cap space this year from the $14.45 million Glenn was scheduled to take up.
The two trades will leave the Bills with an estimated $37.1 million in space under the 2018 salary cap when the league year opens Wednesday. The team does have a $35.9 million in dead money (that which has been paid out to players no longer on the team) on the 2018 salary cap, by far the most in the league, according to contracts website spotrac.com, but the financial situation is significantly rosier in 2019, when the team projects to have as much as $100 million in cap space.
Glenn was expendable because of the emergence last season of Dion Dawkins, a second-round draft pick out of Temple who started 11 games at left tackle. Foot, ankle and back injuries have plagued Glenn since the 2016 season, when he missed five games. He started the first two of the 2017 season, but a high ankle sprain suffered against Carolina kept him out for the next two weeks. He played on special teams only against the Bengals in Week 5, then started the Bills' next three games following their bye week. A nagging foot injury, however, forced him out of the lineup again, even as the team continued to classify him as "day to day." He was eventually placed on injured reserve following Week 14, with the team announcing he would have to undergo foot surgery with specialist Dr. Robert Anderson.
Dawkins ranked 10th in Pro Football Focus' grading of the league's left tackles as a rookie.
The Bills now own the following picks in next month's draft:
- No. 12 (Round 1, via Cincinnati)
- No. 22 (Round 1, via Kansas City)
- No. 53 (Round 2, their own)
- No. 56 (Round 2, via the L.A. Rams)
- No. 65 (Round 3, via Cleveland)
- No. 96 (Round 3, via Philadelphia)
- No. 121 (Round 4, their own)
- No. 166 (Round 5, via Jacksonville)
- No. 187 (Round 6, via Cincinnati)
Monday's trade only intensifies speculation that the Bills will continue their efforts to move up the draft board so that they can land their next potential franchise quarterback. Using the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, the 12th and 22nd overall picks are worth a combined 1,980 points. The fourth overall pick, owned by Cleveland, is worth 1,800 points, while the third overall pick, owned by Indianapolis, is worth 2,220.
Glenn signed a five-year extension in May 2016 that had a maximum value of $65 million. That deal was negotiated by former General Manager Doug Whaley. With the departures of Taylor and Glenn, and taking into account players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents Wednesday, the Bills have just 11 players under contract for 2018 who were acquired by former General Manager Doug Whaley: RT Jordan Mills, C Ryan Groy, P Colton Schmidt, G John Miller, G Richie Incognito, RB LeSean McCoy, TE Charles Clay, DE Jerry Hughes, DT Adolphus Washington, LB Lorenzo Alexander and LS Reid Ferguson. Add in exclusive-rights free agents Nick O'Leary and Logan Thomas and that number jumps to 13 – still an incredible amount of roster turnover in one year.
On the surface, Monday's trade looks like a win for both teams. Using the Jimmy Johnson-created trade value chart, the Bills gained 420 points by moving up from No. 21 to No. 12. That's equivalent to the value the chart places on the 48th overall pick in Round 2.
The Bengals, meanwhile, were desperate for offensive line help after losing Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler last offseason. Cincinnati finished 31st in total rushing (1,366 yards) and 29th in yards per carry (3.6) while giving up 40 sacks.
"We were way off offensively last year," Bengals owner Mike Brown told the Cincinnati Enquirer in January. "It starts with pass protection. We’ve got to get that up to standard. We have to run the ball more effectively than we did over the course of the year.
The offensive line class is not looked at as a strength of either free agency or the upcoming draft class, either. If Glenn is healthy, he figures to be the starter on the left side. Cincinnati inherits the remaining three years on Glenn's contract, which includes cap hits of $11.25 million in 2018, $9.25 million in 2019 and $9.5 million in 2020.
Glenn's base salary for 2018 is $9.25 million, of which $6.5 million fully guarantees on Friday. After this season, the Bengals can release Glenn with no dead money against their cap.
Story topics: Cordy Glenn