The offseason can often be the cruelest time in the NFL, as the Buffalo Bills may soon find out.
After once again failing to slay the dragon that is the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs, the Bills are now in the tortuous process of once again trying to figure out how to get over the hump. The worst part? This may have been their last good shot at a Super Bowl with this core.
Not only is the AFC a gauntlet, and not only are Buffalo's key players getting another year older, but the Bills' contract situation this offseason is downright frightful. Key players such as receiver Gabe Davis, linebacker Tyrel Dodson and safety Micah Hyde are set to hit free agency, and simply put, the Bills don't have the resources to bring them back.
With questions of all kinds being asked in the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII, the difficult offseason awaiting Buffalo was a popular talking point.
"The Bills are projected to be $52 million over the salary cap, a point that multiple people on radio row brought up to me," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler writes. "They can restructure contracts or release players to soften the hit, but either way, expect a talent drain in Western New York... At the very least, the Bills will need to prioritize carefully. Navigating it will require some creativity."
Buffalo has options to create cap space, but they come at a cost. Cuts or trades obviously mean losing even more talent, while restructures would just push money out, which would hurt in the future.
With so many challenges awaiting them, the Bills' ability to navigate this offseason may determine whether or not they can remain contenders.