The exact parameters of the restructuring are unclear, but Steelers Depot notes that Roethlisberger’s salary would have counted about $16 million against the cap this year. One way he might restructure his contract is to have some of his base salary count as a signing bonus, and then distribute the signing bonus over the remainder of his contract.
The salary cap this year is $120 million (with a few $1 million exceptions allowed), and the Steelers have already made efforts to get under the cap by dropping Max Starks, Flozell Adams and Antwaan Randle El. But the much-needed re-signings of Ike Taylor and Willie Colon, as well as the signings of their 2011 draft picks, have ensured that they’re back over the cap again. The Roethlisberger restructuring, as well as a potential long-term contract for Lamarr Woodley, are the Steelers’ surest paths towards getting under the cap.