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Counting the Bills: Defensive ends

Continuing a series analyzing the economics of the Buffalo Bills' roster, position by position:

Position: Defensive end

Total cap value: $27,790,666

Compared to NFL average: 100.2 percent more

NFL positional rank: 2nd

Portion of Bills' total cap number: 23.2 percent

2014 cap numbers:

Mario Williams: $18.8 million (1st on Bills, 1st among NFL defensive ends)

Jerry Hughes: $3.995 million (Bills: 8th; NFL: 39th)

Manny Lawson: $3.1 million (Bills: 15th; NFL: 49th)

Jarius Wynn: $635,000 (Bills: 44th; NFL: tied for 102nd)

Bryan Johnson: $420,666 (Bills: 76th; NFL: tied for 185th)

Jacquies Smith: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; NFL: tied for 188th)

Ikponmwosa Igbinosun: $420,000 (Bills: tied for 78th; tied for 188th)

Average per year:

Williams: $16 million (1st on Bills, 1st among NFL defensive ends)

Hughes: $2.53 million (Bills: 19th; NFL: 51st)

Lawson: $3 million (Bills: tied for 17th; NFL: tied for 45th)

Wynn: $795,000 (Bills: 33rd; NFL: NFL: tied for 89th)

Johnson: $510,667 (Bills: 66th; NFL: tied for 170th)

Smith: $465,000 (Bills: tied for 84th; NFL: tied for 207th)

Igbinosun: $465,000 (Bills: tied for 84th; NFL: tied for 207th)

Most overpaid: Williams. This is a debate that has flown under the radar as Williams has progressed through his deal. He'll turn in dominating performances, like his 4.5 sack game against Carolina last season, and make big plays, as he did at the end of the Bills' road win in Miami last October. Yet Williams' salary cap hit is 835 percent higher than the average cap hit of an NFL defensive end and the fourth-highest cap hit this season in the NFL (behind Ndamukong Suh, Eli Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger). Is Williams worth it? After starting at a "modest" $9.8 million in 2012 and $12.4 million last season, he's now getting into the meat of his contract. Williams' cap number grows to $19 million in 2015 and $19.9 million in 2016. That's top quarterback territory, and I'm not sure Williams delivers that sort of impact to the Bills.

In a recent pieceInsider for ESPN Insider, Pro Football Focus' Nathan Jahnke placed Williams among the top 10 most overpaid players in the NFL.

Most underpaid: None. I would give Hughes some consideration for this title, but he still needs to prove that his 10 sacks last season were more than the product of Mike Pettine's blitz-heavy scheme. With Hughes entering the final year of his contract, the Bills could have chosen to extend him this offseason. They didn't, which was the right call. I would call him slightly underpaid at the moment but Hughes must turn in another good season before he earns more than that in his next deal.