The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been strapped with cap room this season. At roughly ~$1 million to spare, Jason Licht needed to make some wiggle room.
Mike Evans had previously restructured to fit in LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette. And it seems to be the norm for a team making a Super Bowl push. This time, left guard Ali Marpet was asked to convert some of his salary into a bonus.
A couple of teams restructured contracts of starting guards by converting salary into bonuses to create 2020 cap space:
▪️Buccaneers with Ali Marpet: $4.125M created
▪️49ers with Laken Tomlinson (voidable years added): $1.34M created
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 21, 2020
The move generates a decent amount of space, but I don’t see it as an impending move. Jason Licht and Bruce Arians have publicly stated that they like to have some wiggle room in case a player pops up in the market that could improve the roster.
According to spotrac.com, the Buccaneers have $5.4 million in cap space, enough to sign a veteran off the free agent market if they so choose.
Think of it like an emergency fund, should a player go down due to injury. The team will have enough money to make a move at a replacement. Similar to Vita Vea and the trade for Steve McLendon.
These types of restructures are indicative of a team first player. Someone who is willing to sacrifice a bit of cash to improve the team in the short term. Props to Mike Evans and Ali Marpet, it’s rare to see this type of mentality in the NFL.