He didn’t have much luck restructuring the contracts for players last week, but Tampa Bay general manager Bruce Allen’s perseverance towards remedying the Buccaneers’ salary cap problems is starting to pay off.
After getting resistance from several players at the start of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, including linebacker Derrick Brooks, Allen’s luck started to change Saturday when he managed to rework the contract for quarterback Brian Griese, who will sign a five-year, $32 million deal Tuesday at One Buccaneer Place.
On Monday, Allen successfully reworked two more contracts, restructuring the deals for fullback Mike Alstott and center John Wade.
While Alstott signed a new two-year contract that included a $1.5 million signing bonus, the terms of Wade’s restructured contract weren’t disclosed by his agent, James Cook.
“Tampa Bay approached us about restructuring John’s contract, and John’s a team player, so was happy to help the Bucs,” said Cook. “I’m not going to get into details of the contract, but we were happy to help the Bucs’ salary cap situation.”
Wade, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering a dislocated knee in Week 9 against Kansas City, was scheduled to receive a $200,000 roster bonus on Mar. 2 and had a cap value of $1.75 million before reworking the contract he signed during the 2003 offseason.
Reserve lineman Sean Mahan played well in Wade’s absence and may have given the team some leverage in negotiations, especially with Wade coming off injury.
In other contract-related news, the Bucs have contacted Karl Bernard, the agent for defensive tackle Anthony McFarland, about the possibility of reworking “Booger’s” contract.
McFarland is scheduled to have a $4.7 million cap value this year and is signed through the 2008 season.
Tampa Bay is approximately $12 million over the NFL-mandated $85 million salary cap, and the Bucs have until midnight Tuesday to get under the it.
The team will free up about $4.5 million by releasing quarterback Brad Johnson, who will likely be let go on Tuesday morning. Other possible cap casualties could include cornerback Mario Edwards, linebacker Ian Gold, wide receiver Joe Jurevicius and defensive end Greg Spires.
Other candidates to restructure or be released include guard Matt Stinchcomb, tackles Derrick Deese and Kenyatta Walker, defensive end Simeon Rice, linebacker Shelton Quarles and cornerback Ronde Barber.
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