Albert Breer was the first to report that the Steelers restructured the contract of LB Lawrence Timmons for salary cap relief, their second big restructure of the day. This will mark the 2nd contract modification in as many years for Timmons and the Steelers. Timmons signed his contract extension in 2011 so he has only played one year under the original terms of the contract.
In 2012 Timmons reduced his cap charge from $9.125 million to $3.985 million by converting a roster bonus and most of his base salary to a signing bonus and increasing his future years salary cap charges by $1.285 million and dead money by millions a year. According to various people at ESPN Timmons made a similar move this year for the cap strapped Steelers converting $4.535 million of salary and a $2.5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus saving the team $5,276,250 in cap room. However after examining the NFLPA base salary records the report was slightly incorrect as Timmons reduced his salary by $4.625 million taking a salary of $750,000 rather than the reported $840,000.
This move added $1,781,250 cap dollars to each of Timmons future years which will now put him with cap charges around $12 million for each of the final three seasons of his contract. Due to the high dead money charges now associated with the contract in 2015, where they jumped from $4.57 million to $8.13 million, Timmons likely guaranteed himself a spot on the Steelers through that season. Provided he maintains his level of play, and he will only be 27 this season, they shouldn’t regret the move. You can view Timmons new cap numbers on his salary cap page.
With more moves like this expected the Steelers are potentially mortgaging their future to keep their team relatively intact in the present. They still have difficult decision ahead regarding James Harrison and Troy Polamalu both of whom have cap charges in excess of $10 million in 2013.