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Bills could avoid most of Fitzpatrick’s new deal

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 20: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills is sacked by Jared Odrick #98 of the Miami Dolphins during a game at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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The Bills may be regretting the decision to give quarterback Ryan Fitzpatick a six-year, $59 million deal.

If they are, they can walk away from nearly $49 million of it after the season.

Per a league source, the Bills could trade or cut Fitzpatrick before the seventh day of the 2012 league year and owe him nothing further than the $3.22 million base salary he was already due to earn in 2011 and the $10 million signing bonus he was paid upon inking the new deal last month.

On the seventh day of the 2012 league year, the Bills owe Fitzpatrick a $5 million option bonus. If they don’t exercise the option, Fitzpatrick’s base salary for 2012 would increase from $2.8 million to $7.8 million, and it would be fully guaranteed for injury only.

In 2013, Fitzpatrick has a $3 million roster bonus, which also is guaranteed for injury only, along with a base salary of $4.25 million, $3.2 million of which is guaranteed for injury only.

In 2014, there’s another $3 million roster bonus (non-guaranteed) and a non-guaranteed base salary of $4.35 million.

For 2015, 2016, and 2017 Fitzpatrick has non-guaranteed base salaries of $7.2 million, $8.75 million, and $9.45 million, respectively.

Though there’s no reason to believe -- yet -- that the Bills will move on, the point for now is that, if they choose to do so, they will avoid a bunch of money that either isn’t guaranteed at all, or that is guaranteed for injury only.