While the Steelers continue to try to hammer out a contract extension with Le’Veon Bell, another one of his teammates is helping create breathing room.
Antonio Brown posted several videos on his Instagram story feed that he has restructured his contract. The move alleviates $9.72 million in cap space for the Pittsburgh Steelers. David Decastro and Stephon Tuitt also restructured their contracts earlier in the offseason, creating a total of over $13 million in cap space between the two lineman.
This is not the first time Antonio Brown has restructured his contract to create cap space. He restructured his deal in 2016 to create $4 million in cap space for the team.
While almost $10 million sounds like it makes signing Bell easier on the surface, the Steelers are still tight up against the cap. The NFL salary cap for 2018 is $177.2 million. The Steelers have just over $4 million in rollover cap, giving Pittsburgh a cap ceiling of $181.2 million. With all of the current contracts, including dead money and draft pool money, the Steelers are still $4.7 million over the cap. Bell’s franchise tag worth $14.5 million is included.
More players may be restructuring deals to help alleviate even more space, especially since the team needs to get under the cap before the season. Candidates for restructuring would be Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Mitchell, Joe Haden, Cam Heyward and Ryan Shazier. These players currently carry the largest cap hits on the team. Shazier will not be playing in 2018 as he continues to recover from his spinal injury.