Facing a Kirk Cousins cap crunch last year, the Vikings worked out a third contract with their starting quarterback. They did not take that path this year. Minnesota instead agreed to a restructure, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The reworking frees up $16MM in cap space for the Vikings, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweets. The Vikes look to have tacked on two more void years to Cousins’ deal. While the void years — for cap-reducing purposes — run through 2027, Cousins’ contract expires after the 2023 season. No extension is imminent.
The 34-year-old passer has enjoyed leverage throughout his Vikings relationship — via his free agency in 2018, ahead of his 2020 contract year on that fully guaranteed deal, and in 2022 as his second Vikes pact was set to produce a historic cap hit — but Minnesota’s new regime may now be looking toward moving on after the season. This will be a situation to monitor moving forward; Cousins has not played in a contract year since his 2017 Washington finale.
Here is the latest on teams’ restructures:
- The Bills moved close to the 2023 league year in a cap hole, but they restructured the deals of their two highest-profile players to create considerable space. Buffalo reworked Josh Allen and Von Miller‘s contracts to create approximately $32MM in space, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. The Bills have moved their way up past $8MM in cap room.
- Per usual, the Saints have been hard at work on restructures. They adjusted the deals of Cameron Jordan, Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore to create cap space, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Katherine Terrell (all Twitter links). The Jordan move created more than $10MM in cap space for New Orleans, which was back to being north of $20MM over the cap following its Derek Carr signing. As the league year begins, New Orleans made it under the cap by just more than $300K.
- In addition to restructuring Tyron Smith‘s deal to ensure the All-Decade tackle plays a 13th season with the team, the Cowboys adjusted the contracts of DeMarcus Lawrence and Michael Gallup, Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes (Twitter links). Between them, the Lawrence and Gallup restructures freed up around $16MM for Dallas, which had already created more than $30MM in space by redoing Dak Prescott and Zack Martin‘s deals last week.
- The 49ers restructured Fred Warner‘s extension, according to Yates (on Twitter). The move created nearly $9MM in cap space for San Francisco, which gave Javon Hargrave a four-year, $84MM deal to start the legal tampering period. A void year now exists in Warner’s contract, which runs through 2026 (with the void year coming in 2027). Warner’s cap number drops to $9MM but spikes past $24MM in 2024, which will probably prompt more maneuvering from the 49ers. They currently hold just more than $12MM in cap space.
- Circling back to the Vikings, Jordan Hicks agreed to a restructure that will keep him in Minnesota this season, Insidethebirds.com’s Adam Caplan tweets. Hicks signed a two-year, $10MM deal with the Vikings last year.
- Amid their Aaron Rodgers pursuit, the Jets created $4.8MM in cap space by restructuring John Franklin-Myers‘ contract, Yates tweets. Two void years are attached to the defensive lineman’s pact, which runs through 2025.
- Texans safety Eric Murray agreed to a restructured deal as well, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 notes. Attached to a two-year, $10MM deal he signed in 2022, Murray remains on a Texans team that has seen its roster become crowded at safety. The team has added Jimmie Ward and re-signed M.J. Stewart this week. Murray played 17 games for the Texans last season but did not start any. This sounds like a pay-cut agreement, with Wilson adding Murray can make up to $4MM this season.