Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has a very interesting scenario that relates to the Pittsburgh Steelers possibly wanting to wait until after March 4 to restructure the contract of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to ensure that the Baltimore Ravens have a higher exclusive franchise tag number to carry on quarterback Joe Flacco until they get a new long-term deal worked out with him.
Florio explains that if the Steelers were to lower the cap number on Roethlisberger via a restructure prior to March 4 that it would ultimately lower the franchise tag amount that the Ravens have to carry on Flacco because of Roethlisberger currently being one of the quarterbacks with one of the five highest cap numbers in 2013.
Florio writes that the Ravens might also wait until right before the deadline to issue the exclusive franchise tag on Flacco, if that is indeed the tag that they plan on using, for this very reason as it would free up a little bit of offseason cap space to work with until a new deal is finalized with their Super Bowl MVP.
A little salary cap game of cat and mouse? Do the Steelers really care about such a thing?
Florio also explains in his post that Matthew Stafford, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, who are currently three of the other top five quarterbacks with the highest scheduled 2013 cap charges, are all represented by CAA, who also represent Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who could become a salary cap casualty should Baltimore become pinched for salary cap space.
All three of those quarterbacks are candidates to have their 2013 cap charges lowered via either an extension, in the case of Stafford, or restructures, in the case of the Manning brothers. Those three teams, however, as Florio points out, have no incentive to get those deals put to bed by a certain date in order to help the Ravens.
While the post by Florio certainly makes one sit back and think, I think that with so many variables involved that the Steelers could care less about when they get Roethlisberger to sign off on a restructure. Maybe I am wrong. All we can do at this point is wait and see when the word of the Roethlisberger restructure finally leaks out. If it winds up being after March 4 then maybe the Steelers were indeed watching this whole scenario very closely and trying to stick it to the Ravens.