Dallas has once again tinkered with the accounting of left tackle Tyron Smith’s contract, this time converting $8.9 million of his salary this year into a signing bonus according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Cowboys converted $8.9M of OT Tyron Smith base salary into a signing bonus, per source. That clears $6.675M in cap space for Dallas to work with this year (unless a void year was added, which would bring it $7.12M).— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 22, 2020
Cap flexibility for free agents or in-season management.
As Yates stated the move will create $7.12 million in cap space for Dallas this year. It will also increase Smith’s cap number by $1.78 million in each of the 2021 through 2023 seasons. A void year was added in 2024 for cap purposes.
The Cowboys were estimated to have around $7.5 million in cap room prior to this move and should now have about $14.4 million. $7.5 million should have been enough to function during the season though this certainly gives them more breathing room. It should also give them the ability to add another player if necessary to replace the injured Gerald McCoy.
It is also possible that this is just a move being made to protect a stay player’s salary in the event that the season is shortened. For the players who did not opt out this year they are taking some financial risk if they have a large salary for the season. Moves like this eliminate that risk since the bonus is protected even in a short year.
This will now mark the fourth time in six years that the Cowboys have restructured the Smith contract for cap relief. The last time they did so was 2017 and waiting until 2020 makes sense since his contract is now at a point where all the prorations from the prior bonuses run out, so his cap hits remain affordable. Smith signed an 8 year extension back in 2014 that remains one of the best contracts for a team in the NFL.
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Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.