The Buffalo Bills will be without defensive forward Star Lotulelei this season.
The Lotulelei, 31, will voluntarily step down for the 2020 season, removing the valuable race tamper from the Bills’ defense midfield, the team confirmed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the team also announced that second-year tight end Tommy Sweeney will start the season on the active / physically unable to perform roster due to a foot injury.
Lotulelei’s departure leaves Vernon Butler, a Carolina free agent, and Harrison Phillips, the third-year veteran who injured his knee, as the top players on the depths table at the nose tackle position. Ed Oliver is the starter at the other defensive tackle position.
Lotulelei restructured the last three years of his contract in February, which essentially reduced the chances of him falling victim to a salary cap in 2020 and 2021. By taking a voluntary opt-out option, Lotulelei will receive a payment of 150,000 $ this year, which will be taken from his salary next season. This is a cash advance, under terms negotiated by the NFL and the players’ union last week to account for the coronavirus pandemic.
He was to receive a guaranteed base salary of $ 4.5 million this year and a guarantee of $ 2.5 million in 2021. NFL players will not lose any guaranteed money in their contracts under the new terms of the collective agreement. But this guaranteed money will be carried over to 2021 and 2022.