The Chargers have freed up some cap space by converting a portion of Antonio Gates‘ base salary for 2014 into a signing bonus, reports Brian McIntyre (via Twitter). According to McIntyre, the move creates $1.5MM in cap savings for San Diego.
Gates, who is listed as questionable for tonight’s game in Arizona with a hamstring injury, had been set to earn a base salary of $5MM this year, but that figure has been cut to $2MM. The new $3MM bonus will be prorated over the final two years of the contract, adding an extra $1.5MM to next year’s charge.
With Ladarius Green on the rise in San Diego and Gates entering his age-34 season, there’s a reasonable chance he’ll have to accept a pay cut or be released before the 2015 season. After the restructure, the veteran tight end has a cap number of about $9.76MM for next year, including a $5.9MM base salary and about $3.86MM in potential dead money.