Benjamin Watson restructured his contract last week

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Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson is back on the practice field in part because his torn Achilles tendon has healed. He’s also back because the Ravens opted not to release him.

Watson, who also has played for the Saints, Browns, and Patriots, accepted a restructured contract last week, per a source with knowledge of the situation. Previously due to make $3 million in 2017, Watson has reduced his base salary to $1.25 million. Of that amount, $750,000 is fully guaranteed.

The deal also has incentive thresholds that can bump his compensation up to a maximum of $3 million.

This protects the Ravens against injury or ineffectiveness, and it gives Watson, a first-round pick in 2004, every reason to produce in 2017. If the incentives are characterized as “not likely to be earned” (a term of art that doesn’t speak to degree of difficulty), the Ravens will have cleared $1.75 million in cap space.