Yes, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald restructured his contract. No, he won’t receive a penny less in 2014 than he was supposed to make.
As expected, it’s a so-called “simple” restructuring, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. It means that Fitzgerald agreed to convert a large chunk of his 2014 base salary to a signing bonus, which then will be spread over the five remaining years of his current contract.
At a base salary of $12.75 million and a league minimum for a veteran of 10 or more years of service at $955,000, the Cardinals were able to convert up to $11.795 million to a bonus. Divided by five, that translates to a per-year charge of $2.359 million. Which bumps $9.436 million to future cap years. Which drops Fitzgerald’s cap number for 2014 from $18 million to under $9 million.
Of course, that drives up the Fitzgerald cap number by $2.359 million in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Which makes 2015 the year of reckoning, when Fitzgerald’s cap number will be $23.6 million.
Which likely means that, come next year, it’ll take more than a simple restructuring to keep Fitzgerald in Arizona.