The Washington Redskins have restructured the contract of cornerback Josh Wilson to create more flexibility beneath the salary cap, the seven-year veteran confirmed.
Set to count $5.3 million against the cap in 2013 – the final season of his contract – Wilson took a pay cut of $1.9 million as his base salary was lowered from $3.9 million to $2 million. He will now receive a signing bonus of $1.3 million and count $3.4 million against the cap.
Prior to restructuring Wilson’s deal, the Redskins had only $30,000 in cap space – not enough to sign the rookies acquired via this week’s draft. But Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said on Wednesday that the team had a plan to create more spending money.
The Redskins back in March restructured the contracts of wide receiver Santana Moss, defensive end Adam Carriker and safety Brandon Meriweather so they could re-sign players with expiring deals and add a handful of free agents.
Wilson said the team only recently approached him about restructuring his contract.
“Everybody understands we’re in a difficult situation and what we have to deal with,” Wilson said referring to the $18 million salary cap penalty Washington had to deal with in each of the last two offseasons. “Sacrifices have to be made. Normally, the sacrifice is your body and time with our family, but you also have to make sacrifices for the better of the team, and hopefully benefits both sides.”
Zac Boyer of the Freelance-Star first reported news of Wilson’s restructuring.
The Redskins on the eve of free agency released fellow cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who was due to earn $8 million against the cap. They later re-signed him to a contract with a base salary of $1 million, a bonus of $250,000 and incentives of up to $1.25 million.
The team signed free agent E.J. Biggers, who presumably would compete for a spot as the third corner alongside Hall and Wilson. Washington also could draft a cornerback tonight or tomorrow.
Wilson said he preferred to rework his deal rather than leave the team that he has started for the last two seasons, this past year helping Washington to its first division title since 1999.
“It’s definitely a great to stay here as far as playing in the same system for more than one season, which is a luxury, I’ve learned,” said Wilson, who played for Seattle and Baltimore before signing with Washington in 2011. “This is a great team. Everybody understands we’re right on the cusp. In years past, we couldn’t see over that hill as far as how far away we were, but now we can see it. We’re definitely not far off now.”