Inside The Bills

Buyout option window is brief

Posted by Chris Brown on December 21, 2012 – 4:24 pm

While the exact length of time for the Bills to exercise a buyout option in Year 7 of the lease agreement with Erie County and New York State is not specifically spelled out in the memo of understanding signed by the Bills, the county and the state Friday, it is said to be brief. Here is why that is significant.

The exact time frame for the buyout option, in which the Bills would have to pay a termination fee of just over $28M, will be spelled out once the Memorandum of Understanding is ratified by the NFL as well as the state and county legislatures. But once that brief buyout window closes, the remainder of the term of the deal (3 years) will still operate under the $400M relocation penalty.

So essentially the $400M relocation penalty exists for almost the entire length of the deal, not just the first seven years.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also stated that under the previous lease agreement the Bills could’ve left for a paltry sum in comparison to the $28M buyout in the new deal.

“Right now that the Bills could probably leave for two million. Last year, they could have left this community for two million dollars based on the prior lease,” said Poloncarz. “I know we have a strong commitment from Mr. Wilson and the Bills organization. As Russ has noted, if they wanted to leave they could have left for peanuts in the last few years. They have been committed to this community and continue to be committed to this community through the life of this agreement.”

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