The Ravens have restructured the contract of DT Brandon Williams. Williams’ deal, just signed this past Spring, originally called for a 2017 base salary of $3.5M. That has now been reduced down to $775K. The balance of $2.725M has been converted into a Bonus, which is pro-rated over the 5 years of William’s deal. As such, this restructure, known as a “simple” restructure (i.e. converting base salary into bonus), has created $2.18M in additional Salary Cap space for the Ravens.
However, do keep in mind that the drawback to creating Cap space in the present year is that it comes at the expense of future Cap space. In this case, that means adding $545K onto Williams’ Salary Cap number in each of the next 4 years.
This restructure was likely done to create a bit more of a Cap cushion in case of additional injuries during the season. The Ravens are currently carrying 76 contracts on their Salary Cap, which includes all the players on the 53-man roster, plus players on Injured Reserve and the Practice Squad. Prior to this restructure, the Ravens only had somewhere between $1-2M in available Cap space. Now, thanks to Williams’ restructure, that Cap space has increased to roughly $3.1-4.1M.
The biggest unknown variable in those numbers is (1) whether CB Kyle Arrington, released in July, is going to claim the Injury Protection Benefit (IPB) that he is entitled to claim and (2) there are a couple of players released with injury settlements over the last week or so (LB Brennen Beyer and CB Robertson Daniel) which have yet to be processed.
Arrington’s IPB would total $1.05M if he can prove that he is no longer able to play due to the concussion symptoms he’s been suffering since training camp of 2016. Given that the Ravens released Arrington with an injury designation in July (after waiting months to see if he could pass a physical), it would seem that Arrington would have a viable claim to being unable to play again, thus bolstering his claim for the injury protection benefit. Even if he hasn’t yet formally asserted his claim, the Ravens must be mindful to have that Cap space available to accommodate such a claim if and when filed.
As such, it appears a restructure, be it Williams or someone else, was somewhat inevitable – and necessary – from a Cap perspective and isn’t likely a precursor to any sort of major roster move. In fact, given the breakdown of the numbers of the restructure, this move was made prior to the Week 1 game against Cincinnati, so any injuries on Sunday (Danny Woodhead, for instance) were not part of the original thought process or reasoning for this restructure.
That doesn’t, of course, mean that there aren’t possibly moves coming, but it’s not likely to be anything major.
The original breakdown of Williams’ contract is as follows:
After Williams’ restructure, the deal breaks down as follows: