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Brown reduced his 2013 salary from $4.5 million to $650,000 with the remaining money being converted into a signing bonus, according to a report from Pro Football Talk. By converting Brown's base salary to a signing bonus, the Steelers can prorate the cost over the remainder of Brown's contract, reducing his 2013 salary cap number. According to the report, the deal will save Pittsburgh $3.08 million next season, a considerable number for a team which began the offseason an estimated $14 million over the salary cap.
Brown is the latest Steeler to restructure as linebacker Lawrence Timmons reworked his deal on Tuesday. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is also reportedly working on restructuring his contract to help create salary cap space. Thanks to several high-priced veterans, the Steelers currently have one of the worst salary cap situations in the NFL.
As things stand now, Roethlisberger, LaMarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Ike Taylor are scheduled to count for more than half of Pittsburgh's 2013 salary cap. Those contracts, combined with the high salaries of a few other veterans leave Pittsburgh with barely enough salary cap space to fill out its roster yet alone pursue or retain free agents.
Restructuring Brown and others will help Pittsburgh get under the 2013 salary cap by the March 12 deadline, but may not leave Pittsburgh with much room to operate in free agency. Beyond Brown, Timmons and Roethlisberger, the Steelers could also attempt to rework or even release James Harrison, Ryan Clark and Brett Keisel.
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