http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20070220/1043908.asp snippet: Six years ago today, I wrote a column applauding Eric Moulds for turning his back on free agency and signing the richest contract in the history of the Buffalo Bills. Moulds received a six-year, $40 million deal - with a $12.5 million bonus for signing his name. Moulds put that $12.5 million right in his pocket. That's how the game is played in the NFL, which doesn't have guaranteed contracts. The signing bonus is a player's guarantee, a handy way for free agents to get the payday of a lifetime - with the entire bonus up front. The team gets to amortize the bonus, in other words, spread the salary cap hit evenly over the life of the contract. Such a deal would be more difficult in Buffalo today. Marv Levy announced at last Friday's press conference that the Bills would no longer amortize signing bonuses on their balance sheets. They'll still give bonuses, but they'll proceed as if every dollar counted against the current year's salary cap. From now on, as Levy explained, the Bills will spend "cash to the cap." I've never heard the phrase before. It's difficult to believe any team would want to advertise the fact that it won't be a big player in the open market, that it's abandoning the most common mechanism for affording the top free agents.