As expected, the Dallas Cowboys restructured the contracts of offensive linemen Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith on Monday, sources confirmed.
The moves free up $17.3 million in cap space, which puts the Cowboys under the salary cap. They had been about $13 million over the cap and had to get under it before the new league starts on March 9.
The 2017 salary cap hasn’t been finalized yet, but is expected to be about $168 million.
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The Cowboys structured the contracts of Frederick and Smith to give them this ability when they signed them to long-term deals. It’s a simple paperwork move to turn part of the 2017 base salaries into signing bonuses.
Frederick will now count $4.531 million against the cap, while Smith will be at $8.82 million.
The Cowboys have the ability to create more cap space, too, if they choose to restructure the contracts of players such as linebacker Sean Lee, wide receiver Dez Bryant and defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford.
They can also create $5.1 million if they release or trade veteran quarterback Tony Romo without designating him as a post-June 1 cut.