The New York Jets have converted a portion of offensive lineman James Carpenter's 2016 salary on Wednesday in an effort to create more cap space, according to ESPN's Field Yates.
This restructuring proves significant after Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News reported earlier that defensive tackle Steve McLendon would cost the Jets $2.5M and leave them out of cap space.
Carpenter, 27, signed a four-year deal with New York as a free agent last offseason.
$3.69M of Carpenter's $4.45M base salary has been converted into a signing bonus, creating $2.46M in cap save.
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There are two notable issues here. The first is McLendon's deal, which - as anticipated - doesn't contain any guaranteed money after this year. It's also apparently just a $10.5 million contract with $1.5 million of potential incentives, rather than a $12m deal as initially reported. I'd expect the Jarvis Jenkins two-year deal to otherwise have a similar structure and initial cap hit.
The second issue is that they chose a smaller restructure rather than a larger restructure on a player like Brandon Marshall or Nick Mangold. That's notable because it still leaves those available as options for restructuring down the line to create more space for more moves. The Carpenter move pushes just over a million dollars of current cap commitment into 2017 (where they have plenty of breathing room based on current commitments) and then the same again into 2018 (where they have even more). This would make no real difference to their future cap situation, even if Carpenter ended up being released earlier than expected. There are other smaller restructures that could be carried out for guys like Marcus Gilchrist and Buster Skrine or the team could opt for a partial rather than full restructure on any of their higher-salaried players.
This move with Carpenter should enable the Jets to also fit Jenkins' deal under the current cap without any further cap saving moves because their existing cap space was reportedly $2.28 million, so that added to the savings noted above will mean the Jets had $4.74 million to fit the two deals into. With two contracts of $500K+ dropping out of the top 51, that should just about work out with just under a million to spare. Based on what they've done so far, they'll be able to find more cap space as and when they need to.