The Buccaneers have reportedly cleared $23 million in cap space for 2013 with the restructuring of the contracts of wide receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Carl Nicks. CB Eric Wright's contract apparently was not reworked, which could be a clue to his future with the club.
General manager Mark Dominik has been lauded for several on-the-field moves in 2012, but on Friday the Bucs front office boss made an off-the-field move that could prove to be just as important.
Wide receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Carl Nicks, two prized free agent acquisitions by Dominik in the offseason, agreed to restructure their contracts which will save the Buccaneers approximately $23 million towards next season’s salary cap.
Jackson and Nicks will receive a large part of their 2013 salaries as roster bonuses immediately as opposed to waiting until the next year. According to ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas, Jackson will count just $3.472 million against the cap next season, and Nicks cap hit will be reduced to $3.072 million.
With the cap relief it is believed the Buccaneers are gearing up to once again be big-time players in the upcoming free agency period, and also have additional money to attempt to re-sign some of their own free agents that include defensive standouts Michael Bennett and Roy Miller.
One interesting note – cornerback Eric Wright who was also part of the 2012 free agency bonanza along with Jackson and Nicks evidently wasn’t part of the salary cap reshuffling, perhaps a sign that the recently suspended cornerback may not be part of the Buccaneers long-term plans.
The Buccaneers can cut ties with Wright after the season and not be responsible for any of the guaranteed money that was due him from his $37.5 million free agent deal signed last March. The first two years of the deal were guaranteed, but with a behavioral clause it appears the Buccaneers have an out of they choose to exercise it after Wright’s four-game suspension for test positive for Adderall, which violated the NFL’s ban on performance enhancing substances.
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