Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison may restructure their contracts to help the team become salary cap compliant, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
As I mentioned when reporting LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons restructures last week, more work was needed to get under the cap and Roethlisberger and Harrison were likely candidates to rework their deals.
Roethlisberger is due $11.6 million in base salary and, after a renegotiation last August, has a salary cap number of $16.92 million in 2012. In that restructure, Roethlisberger's $11.6 million base salary was lowered to $6 million, with $5.6 million converted into a signing bonus. That helped free up $4.48 million in cap space in 2011 and a similar restructure this season, without adding a "dummy" year for proration purposes, would clear $4.2 million, increasing his 2013 cap number to over $18 million.
Like Roethlisberger, Harrison also restructured his contract last August to clear salary cap space. In that restructure, the Steelers took the $4.56 million Harrison was due ($3.66 million base, $900,000 roster bonus) and reduced his base salary to $1.025 million, reduced his roster bonus to $650,000 and converted the leftover sum ($2.66 million) into a signing bonus that was prorated over four seasons that created just over $2 million in cap space. The Steelers also rolled his $250,000 roster bonuses from 2012-14 into his base salaries in those seasons.
Harrison is due $5.565 million in base salary with a cap number of $9.03 million. Reducing his base salary to the league minimum ($825,000) and converting the rest to a $4.74 million signing bonus that's prorated over the next three seasons would clear $3.16 million off the 2012 cap.