Since my post this past week about the Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 salary cap situation I have received a few request from readers asking if I would better explain how Omar Khan will go about clearing over $20 million in cap space this upcoming offseason. This will likely be done by restructuring the contracts of four players and I have broken down each of those players and their restructure processes below.
Ben Roethlisberger – Last offseason the Steelers turned $10.7 million of Roethlisberger\’s $11.6 million base salary into a signing bonus to clear $8.025 million in cap space. This offseason they could easily turn as much as $10.6 million of his $11.6 million base salary due him in 2013 into another signing bonus which would lower his base salary down to $1 million and make his 2013 cap hit $12.528 million. That would lower his 2013 cap hit $7.067 million. The final two years of his contract would then have cap hits of $18.928 million and $19.428 million respectively.
LaMarr Woodley – Woodley is due a $9 million base salary in 2013 and is scheduled to count $13.24 million against the cap. Last offseason the Steelers turned $2.7 million of his $3.4 million base salary along with his $5.5 million roster bonus due him into a signing bonus to clear $6.56 million in cap space. In 2013 Woodley does not have a roster bonus due him so they could turn $8 million of his $9 million base salary into a signing bonus to clear $5 million in cap space.
Lawrence Timmons – Timmons is due a 2013 base salary of $5.375 million and also has a $2.5 million roster bonus due him in addition. Turning all of that except for a million of his base salary into a signing bonus would lower his 2013 cap hit from $11.16 million down to $6.004 million, which would be savings of $5.156 million.
Antonio Brown – Brown is scheduled to have a $2 million base salary in 2013 and is also due a $2.5 million roster bonus. His 2013 cap is scheduled to be $6.2 million. If the Steelers only decided to turn his $2.5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus his new cap hit would be $4.2 million, which would clear $2 million in cap space.
Now in this example I used a one million base salary on Roethlisberger, Woodley and Timmons just to make the numbers easier to understand. Between those four players we have easily cleared $19.233 million in cap space and it actually could wind up being a little more depending on how much under a one million base salary they use with the first three players.
Many will ask if Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor are candidates to be restructured as well and the simple answer to that is no due to the fact that both are only under contract though the 2014 season and both could see 2013 as their final year with the Steelers. The four aforementioned players are really the only candidates to restructure.