BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Bills are in jeopardy of losing Chris Hogan to AFC East rival Patriots after the receiver signed New England's three-year, $12 million offer sheet Friday.
Hogan is a restricted free agent whose rights were retained by the Bills on Monday, when they tendered him an NFL-minimum $1.67 million contract. The Bills now have five days to match the Patriots' offer, which will be difficult for Buffalo to manage because the team has little room left under the salary cap.
A person familiar with the contract told The Associated Press the deal is structured so that Hogan's contract will count $5.5 million against the payroll this season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not announced publicly.
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The Bills were projected to have just under $5 million of space left under the cap after re-signing starting left guard Richie Incognito on Tuesday and after starting left tackle Cordy Glenn signed his franchise offer last week.
Hogan completed his third season in Buffalo and finished fourth on the team with 36 catches for 450 yards and two touchdowns. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Hogan has speed to play on the outside, and has been fearless in making catches over the middle. He also has special teams experience.
Hogan's departure would further deplete the Bills' depth at receiver behind starters Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods.
The Patriots have a need at the position after their Tom Brady-led passing attack last season was hampered by injuries to several wide receivers and lacked a dependable threat behind tight end Rob Gronkowski.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL