The timing of the decision to trade left tackle Cordy Glenn is significant, given the salary cap ramifications.
Glenn signed a five-year, $60 million contract in 2016. Under the terms of that deal, $6.5 million of his $9.25 million base salary becomes guaranteed Friday, the third day of the league year. Additionally, Glenn is due a $2 million roster bonus Sunday.
Teams cannot officially make trades until the start of the league year at 4 p.m. Wednesday. But trading Glenn before Sunday means the Bills will save $4.85 million against the 2018 salary cap (assuming the deal is finalized by then).
The Bills, already the league leader in dead cap money thanks to Marcel Dareus, take a $9.6 million dead cap hit. Dareus, Glenn and Tyrod Taylor — once his trade to Cleveland becomes official — will account for $31.4 million in dead money.
Once the deals are made, the Bills unofficially will have $37.1 million to work with under the salary cap.
As for the Bengals, the acquisition means that the final three years of Glenn's deal move to their books at $11.25 million in 2018, $9.25 million in 2019 and $9.5 million in 2020, according to Spotrac.