As expected, the Steelers have restructured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s contract. As not expected, they’ve done the deal at a time when doing so will help the Ravens reduce the exclusive franchise tender to their own franchise quarterback, Joe Flacco.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger has restructured his contract to create $6 million in cap space.
As recently explained, the Steelers could have cleared up to $7.1 million. But that would have pushed his future cap numbers even higher.
The move drops Ben’s 2013 cap number from $19.6 million to $16.6 million. And that takes him out of the top five quarterback cap numbers for 2013.
Ben is replaced by Philip Rivers and his $17.1 million cap number. Which drops the exclusive franchise tender to $19.134 million, saving $500,000 for the Ravens, if they choose to use the exclusive tag on Flacco.
This week, the Ravens have seen the exclusive franchise number fall more than $1.3 million, via the new Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger contracts. If both teams had waited until March 5 to do the deals, the Ravens would have been forced to tender Flacco at $20.464 million.
It could be that both teams believe that the Ravens will opt to go non-exclusive, which is expected to result in a cap number of $14.6 million. Regardless, the gap between the two numbers is now more than $1.3 million smaller.
[Editor’s note: Bouchette initially reported that the cap savings is $3 million. He has since changed that to $6 million.]