Contract restructures have been the topic of the week around the NFL. It’s a simple procedure that converts salary to bonus, pays the player right away and gives the team salary cap relief.
Some fans are calling for the Seahawks and Russell Wilson to do it. They could cut his salary from $19 million to the $1.075 million minimum to create $12 million in space.
To clarify: Wilson’s deal reportedly gives the team automatic conversion rights, so they don’t need Wilson’s permission — they already got it when he signed his contract.
But we don’t think the Seahawks should use it with Wilson at all, and we don’t think they will.
We mentioned weeks ago, before all of the drama started, that they might do it as a last resort. But things clearly have changed since early February. Why would the Seahawks want to pay Wilson more money and create more dead cap space if they were considering trading him within the next year?
Some mention the idea of doing the restructure to entice other teams to trade for him. But that would cost them more against the cap (as much as $18 million more pre-June or $5 million off their $19 million cap savings after June 1). The Hawks would never do that; nor should they.
The Hawks have only one other contract they could do a simple restructure on to help with the cap: Bobby Wagner could give them around $6.5 million in space.
Meanwhile, word that the Bears — reportedly big on trying to get Wilson — re-did three big salaries themselves made people wonder if they were making room for the trade. The answer: Not with these transactions. Chicago, $19 million over the cap, needed to clear room anyway.
Chicago’s moves also made it obvious that Khalil Mack will not be a part of any trade for Wilson. The Bears would take around $16 million in added dead money this year if they traded Mack before June. Even a June move would cost them $4 million.
So, any offer they have made or will make to Seattle for Wilson is very, very unlikely to include Mack. They probably have at least talked parameters with Seattle, which may want only draft picks anyway.