After Tom Brady restructured and extended his contract with the New England Patriots last week—which reportedly will clear $15 million in cap space for the team, according to Jarrett Bell of USA Today—Roethlisberger has followed suit.
From Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
#steelers have complered restructuring Ben Roethlisberger's contract— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) February 28, 2013
Little math challenged. Ben's redone deal clears nearly $6 M in cap space for #Steelers— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) February 28, 2013
According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Roethlisberger's cap hit significantly shrinks:
Ben Roethlisberger's cap figure for 2013 shrinks to $13.595 million.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 28, 2013
Steelers have restructured Lawrence Timmons' contract, saving approximately $5 million in cap space. Roethlisberger is next.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 27, 2013
Will the Steelers make the playoffs in 2013-14?
I'm sure most Steelers fans are asking whether this will help the team re-sign star wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Probably not. The Steelers were already $14 million over the cap before making these moves, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN, so it's hard to imagine them matching the sort of lucrative offers Wallace will surely receive on the free-agent market.
It's important to note that Roethlisberger isn't losing any money here. According to Hensley, it essentially means that the quarterback's salary has been converted to bonuses, which will reduce the cap hit this season but spread it over the duration of the contract.
In other words, the Steelers are pushing their cap issues onto another year, sweeping the cap hit under the rug for now.
Still, the Steelers needed to get under the cap this year, and they'll need to look for a replacement for Wallace either in free agency or in the draft. This is a veteran team with aging stars who make a decent chunk of change, so restructuring certain deals is an inevitability.
And hey—for star quarterbacks, it's all the rage these days.