Steelers Alter The Deal, Pray They Don’t Alter It Further
The Pittsburgh Steelers must be in compliance with the 2011 salary cap by Thursday. As of this morning, they were still approximately $10 million over the target of $120 million plus three $1 million exceptions. This coupled with a rash of last minute re-signings set off a round of renegotiations with players already under long term contract.
Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison were the big ticket items who agreed to alter their deals. Although let’s be clear, neither Big Ben nor Silverback are taking a pay cut. The Steelers simply employed an accounting trick to help alleviate some of the cap pressure. Signing bonuses are divided evenly over the term of the contract and that number in addition to the base salary are what count against the cap. By lowering the annual salary and paying a larger portion of the contract as a signing bonus, you can effectively lower your cap hit without changing the total value of the contract.
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