Ian Rapoport of NFL.com suggested to a Twitter follower on Monday that the Pittsburgh Steelers could restructure the contract of safety Troy Polamalu in order to be able to afford former Denver Broncos defensive end/linebacker Elvis Dumervil.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2013
It is sad to see such a flip answer such as that from Rapport, as it gives fans false hope. Sure, the Steelers have the ability to restructure Polamalu\’s contract, but it certainly wouldn\’t be a sound business decision.
Polamalu is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7.5 million in 2013 and his cap charge is scheduled to be $10,137,500. If the Steelers were to turn $6.5 million of his base salary into a signing bonus, it would lower his 2013 cap by $3.25 million. It would also, however, create another $3.25 million of potential dead money in 2014 by doing so.
Polamalu already has $2,637,500 worth of bonus proration on the books for 2014, his final year under contract. Adding another $3.25 million to it would bring the total to $5,887,500 and his 2014 cap number would then jump up to $14,137,500.
Polamalu will turn 32 years of age in April and has only played in all 16 regular season games twice in the last seven seasons. While the Steelers are certainly hoping that he can play out his current contract, there are no guarantees that he will based on his injury history. We can only take it year-to-year with him.
In short, the Steelers need to leave the cap number of Polamalu alone. They don\’t need $3.25 million worth of cap space that bad.