The Pittsburgh Steelers have commenced the process of getting in compliance with the salary cap.
But they’ve done it not by chopping a veteran player from the roster, but by chopping down his cap number, with a restructuring.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the Steelers have created roughly $5 million in cap space by reworking the contract of linebacker Lawrence Timmons.
It’s the second straight year Timmons, a first-round pick in 2007, has restructured the long-term extension he signed in 2011, after the lockout. In February 2012, Timmons dropped his cap number from $9.125 million to $3.985 million.
This year, Timmons was due to earn a base salary of $5.375 million and a roster bonus of $2.5 million on the fifth day of the league year. By converting all but the minimum salary for a seventh-year player of $840,000 to a guaranteed payment, the Steelers can prorate $7.035 million over the four remaining years of the deal. At a distribution of $1.75 million per year, the Steelers could have saved a maximum of $5.27 million in 2013 cap space under Timmons’ deal.
Timmons’ cap number was due to be $11.6 million. If the Steelers did the maximum restructuring, his cap number in 2014 will be $11.785 million.
Which will make him a candidate for yet another restructuring.