The NFL Draft is a chance for teams to upgrade their rosters, but the addition of early picks can create a tough cap situation for teams that have to dish out the big deals that go to players taken early. That strain was alleviated for a few teams, though, as some veterans restructured their deals on Friday to free up cap space for their respective teams.
New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis and Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson all agreed to adjusted deals on Friday that will give more cap space for their teams to work with.
The Jets' cap situation was the one most affected by Thursday night after they had two selections in the first half of the first round, taking Dee Milliner at ninth overall and Sheldon Richardson four picks later. In the latest estimation from the NFLPA, the Jets have about $12.4 million in cap space to work with, but the rookie contracts of Milliner and Richardson will cut into that number.
The move to restructure the deal of Ferguson cleared over $5.1 million in space, though, as the majority of his base salary was converted into a signing bonus.
Both the 49ers and Redskins have much less cap space to work with than the Jets do, as they are both estimated to have a little over $2 million in space. The 49ers selected Eric Reid with the No. 18 overall selection on Thursday, while the Redskins were without a pick in the first round after trading away their 2013 and 2014 first round picks to the St. Louis Rams as part of a deal to land Robert Griffin III.