The Pittsburgh Steelers have now officially started their offseason progress to getting salary cap compliant for the 2021 league year as the team has now completed a contract restructure on defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, according to a Monday morning report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
Below is the Ian Rapoport report from Twitter and it seemingly matches what I speculated would happen several months ago. Based on that report, Heyward seemingly had his entire $6 million roster bonus he was due on March 20, along with all but $1.075 million of the $4.5 million base salary he’s due in 2020, turned into a signing bonus prior to the start of the new league on March 17. Turning that money into a signing bonus will allow for $9.425 million that Heyward is due in 2021 to be spread out over the final four years of Heyward’s contract. It will cause Heyward’s cap charges in 2022, 2023 and 2024 to all increase by $2,356,250 and his 2021 cap charge to decrease by $7,068,750.
The #Steelers did a basic conversion restructure on DL Cam Heyward’s contract, source said, and he’ll still make $10.5M this season. But roster bonus and base were converted to a signing bonus and created about $7M in cap room.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2021
Below is what Heyward’s contract now likely looks like following the recent restructure and it should not come as a surprise. Prior to the restructure, Heyward was scheduled to count $14,550,000 against the Steelers 2021 salary cap. Now he should count $7,481,250.
With Heyward’s contract restructure now out of the way, there is a good chance that fellow Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt will be next to have his deal restructured as well. A full restructure on Tuitt would clear around $4 million in cap space.