Buccaneers guard/center Sean Mahan recently restructured his contract with the Tampa Bay. Mahan was scheduled to have the highest base salary of any Bucs offensive linemen before restructuring. In the third year of a five-year contract, Mahan restructured his deal to go from a $3 million base salary to a $1.6 million base salary in 2009. Mahan and the Bucs completed the revised contract prior to free agency, and Mahan could make the money back if he reaches playing time incentives.
Mahan, 29, signed a five-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers before the 2007 season. He had played four seasons in Tampa Bay before signing with the Steelers to be their starting center. After losing the starting center spot in training camp of 2008, the Steelers traded Mahan to the Buccaneers. Last season Mahan (6-3, 301) backed up center Jeff Faine, but had zero starts as Faine played the entire season.
Mahan's base salary was $2.175 million in 2008, and is scheduled to have base salaries of $2.08 million and $2.56 million in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Mahan has suited up for 88 games in his career with 52 starts, with 36 starts coming as a Buccaneer between 2004-06.
The Bucs are believed to be close to $30 million under the salary cap.
Mahan restructuring his contract helps to solidify his roster spot. Mahan is now behind some of the offensive line starters in terms of salary. The Bucs' depth along the offensive line has taken a hit with the departure of guard Arron Sears, who has missed most of the offseason practices due to a personal issue. It is unknown when or if Sears will return to the team.
The issues with Sears are believed to be similar to that of former Bucs safety John Howell. Clinical depression sidelined Howell for all of training camp in 2003, and with the help of medication he was able to resume his playing career. Backup guard Jeremy Zuttah has taken the starting left guard spot, and Mahan is the only experienced backup at guard or center.