The Cowboys have restructured the contract of tight end Jason Witten, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The Cowboys were facing a salary cap crunch following the acquisition of quarterback Matt Cassel but they now have a little bit of breathing room after moving some money around with their star tight end.
Witten, earning a base salary of $5.1MM this year, was set to make $4.5MM during the final 15 weeks of the season. To create some cap space for 2015, the Cowboys turned $3.6MM of the remaining base salary into a signing bonus. The move adds $1.2MM to Witten’s cap figures in 2016 and 2017.
By acquiring Cassel, the Cowboys took on $1.76MM in base salary plus $2.15MM in playing time/postseason incentives, although those bonuses are not likely to be earned. Dallas will also owe $5.78MM to Greg Hardy for ten game roster bonuses once his suspension ends. Now that Witten’s money has been moved around a little bit, the Cowboys won’t have to sweat either one of those charges.
Right now, Witten is focusing on getting healthy for Sunday’s matchup with the Falcons. The tight end sprained both ankles and one of his knees in Sunday’s win against the Eagles and his status for this upcoming week is uncertain.