On the heels of restructuring All-World DE DeMarcus Ware yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing to reshape the cap numbers for their 2013 version. Word has come out that Dallas has restructured the contracts of TE Jason Witten, along with those of last-year free agent guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau. These moves are made with the intention of Dallas getting under the projected $122-$123 million cap.
UPDATE: Clarence Hill, Jr. of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram has just indicated that the club has reached an agreement with Brandon Carr to restructure his deal and knock off an additional $10.5 million of cap space. The restructure was already built into Carr's contract last year, as his 2013 salary of $14.3 million was fully guaranteed.
The Cowboys have officially taken the next step getting under the salary cap by restructuring the contract of cb Brandon Carr, saving $10.5m— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) February 28, 2013
The club also resigned their unrestricted free agent L.P. LaDouceur to a five-year agreement. L.P. has been with the club since the 2005 season.
LP Ladoucuer has officially signed 5yr deal .. Deal is worth around $4 million as total package— Nick Eatman (@nickeatman) February 28, 2013
ESPN Dallas is reporting his deal comes with a $600k signing bonus. Not bad for a player that hasn't had a bad snap once in his entire career.
Per ESPN's Todd Archer, Witten's restructure will save the Cowboys $3.65m of cap space this season. Witten has three years remaining on his current deal, set to expire in 2015. His original deal was for seven years, so the proration of that signing bonus was set to expire this season, as it can only be broken out over 5 years.
The restructuring of the guards may have been a little more surprising. Both signed relatively cap friendly deals last offseason.
Doing my own calculations (so forgive me if they are a bit off) using Spotrac's numbers, Bernadeau's original deal was four years, $11.5 million with a $3.25m signing bonus. His 2013 base salary was set to be $2.25m, and the five-year vet minimum is $715k. If $1.535 million is spread out over three years as a new proration, Bernie's new cap hit would be approximately $2 million, or savings of $1 million.
Nate Livings contract was for 5 years, $18.7 million, but his 2013 base salary was set to only be $1.7m. As a seven-year veteran, his minimum salary is $815k, so that's less than $900k turned into a new signing bonus. Spread over four years, that's $225k in new prorated bonus. His new cap hit will probably be ($815k + $225k + $700k original SB = $1.74m). That's a savings of almost $700k from his original cap hit of $2.4 million.
So to summarize, Dallas has saved $10.5 million in Carr's restructure, $3.65 million in Witten's new deal, $1 million in Bernadeau's new deal and $700k in Livings new deal. That's a total of over $15 million in cap space added to the $4 million from Ware's restructure yesterday. The team was reportedly $19 million over the proposed cap (if $123m) and has knocked it down to around $500k (figuring LP costs ~$1m first year) with the Romo extension card still to play.
Not bad, Stephen and Jerry, not bad at all.