The Buffalo Bills have restructured the contract of defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, reducing his 2020 base salary from $6.25 million to $4.5 million, an NFL source confirmed Tuesday.
Under the new parameters of his deal, Lotulelei's revised base pay will be fully guaranteed. Also, $2.5 million in injury guarantees were added for 2021.
The transaction was first reported by ESPN's Field Yates.
The Bills and starting DT Star Lotulelei have agreed to a restructured contract for the final three years of his deal.
For 2020, Lotulelei’s base salary drops by $1.75M, but becomes fully guaranteed, with $2.5M in injury guarantees for 2021 added. Some benefit for both sides.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 11, 2020
With the move, the Bills have given themselves additional space under the NFL's salary cap. They already were projected to have about $80 million in cap space.
By agreeing to the restructuring, Lotulelei might very well have helped the team in its efforts to re-sign another defensive tackle, Jordan Phillips, whose contract is due to expire.
Lotulelei played 489 snaps during the 2019 season, which was 46.4 percent. Fellow tackles Ed Oliver and Phillips played 568 (53.9 percent) and 548 (52 percent), respectively. Lotulelei's streak of 78 consecutive starts is the longest among defensive tackles in the NFL.
Lotulelei, who signed with the Bills in 2018 as an unrestricted free agent from the Carolina Panthers, was credited with 19 tackles during the '19 regular season.
He had three tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception. He had two tackles for a loss and a sack in a win at Miami on Nov. 17. Lotulelei's interception, which came on a throw from Dak Prescott in the Bills' victory at Dallas on Thanksgiving, was his first since high school in 2006.