Chargers restructure Philip Rivers’ contract

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The Chargers are taking care of a little housekeeping before kicking off their season against the Texans on Monday night.

Michael Gehlken of UT San Diego reports that the team has reached an agreement with quarterback Philip Rivers to restructure his contract. Rivers converted $5 million of the $12 million he was set to earn in salary into a signing bonus, spreading the cap hit out over the final two years of the deal.

Rivers is still set to make the same amount of money over the life of the deal. The move gives the Chargers more than $3 million of cap space this season.

Per Gehlken, the Chargers plan to use their new cap space immediately. Linebacker Donald Butler, whose contract expires after the season, is seen as likeliest candidate to benefit from the newfound largesse. The two sides were said to be talking about such an extension a month ago, but that there would be no discussions once the season starts.

That would leave the two sides a couple of days to hammer out an extension if, indeed, that’s what the Chargers are planning to do.