The Texans have restructured Zach Cunningham‘s contract (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates). The move will allow Houston to save $5.63MM in cap space by converting $7.51M of the linebacker’s 2021 base salary converted into a signing bonus.
Cunningham inked a four-year, $58MM extension last summer, keeping him under club control through 2024. Since then, Cunningham has been a fixture in the Texans’ front seven. In 2019, he took a big leap forward with 142 stops, two sacks, and two passes defensed in 16 games (all starts). He led the league in run stops that year, posting a career-best run-defense grade of 84.8, per Pro Football Focus.
This past year, he shined on a less-than-stellar Texans defense and led the league with 164 total tackles. He also posted a career-high three sacks. Still, his 43.0 coverage grade needs to improve in order for the Texans to keep opposing tight ends in check.
The Texans have been working diligently to tamp down their cap figure in recent days. Last week, they also adjusted Witney Mercilus’ deal to find extra space while allowing the linebacker to reach free agency after the 2021 season.