Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer told reporters on Thursday he had agreed to a contract restructure about a month ago to save the team some salary cap space. It had not yet become official, as general manager Steve Keim indicated it would become official if the team needed it.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, per a tweet by reporter Josh Weinfuss, the restructure became official on Friday.
Palmer was due to be paid a $9.5 million roster bonus. That has been turned into a signing bonus (or probably will be termed a restructure bonus) and that means the money will be prorated over the life of the contract for salary cap purposes.
Palmer will make $1 million in salary in 2015. His cap hit was going to be $14.5 million. Now only $2.375 million of the bonus will count towards this season. He now will have a $7.375 million cap hit in 2015.
If ESPN Stats and Info is correct, the Cardinals will now have $21.1 million in salary cap space entering free agency.
In terms of actual money, absolutely nothing changes for the Cardinals or Palmer. He still gets $9.5 million now, which he was going to get. There was no downside for Palmer.
There are long term implications. Palmer's contract will now have a salary cap hit of over $17 million in 2016 and, if the team moves on from Palmer after this season or he retires, there will be over $13 million in dead money.
Arizona is clearly going all in this season. Hopefully it will end well because 2016 is going to have some salary cap issues.