6 Texans who restructured their contracts to create more salary cap space

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Mark Lane
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The Houston Texans have found ways to create enough salary cap space to go on their free agency spending spree in 2021.

Here are six Texans who restructured their contracts to help give new general manager Nick Caserio some flexibility as the club works through the 2021 season, getting upfield to a better offseason in 2022.

1. LT Laremy Tunsil

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texans-romeo-crennel-unsure-laremy-tunsil-ready-lions

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Tunsil signed a three-year, $66 million contract in April of 2020, and he was due $16.15 million for 2021. However, the Texans converted that base salary into a signing bonus of $15.16, saving the team $10.106 million in cap space.

2. WR Brandin Cooks

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2021-nfl-free-agency-houston-texans-starting-lineup

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Cooks had his $10 million base salary for 2021 converted into a signing bonus, saving the team $6.53 million in salary cap space.

3. RB David Johnson

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moves-texans-made-get-under-salary-cap-2021

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson was in the final year of his three-year, $39 million contract and was scheduled to make $8.5 million in 2021. Instead of cutting him paying $2.1 million in dead money, the Texans lowered his salary cap figure to $6 million with $4.25 million guaranteed at signing.

4. OLB Whitney Mercilus

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texans-extending-whitney-mercilus-inevitable

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Mercilus was going to carry a $12 million cap hit in 2021, but the Texans were able to restructure his salary and reduce it to $8 million. The last two years of his contract were void, which means he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Houston saved $4 million in the process.

5. ILB Zach Cunningham

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zach-cunningham-texans-best-foot-forward

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Cunningham had his $7.51 million base salary for 2021 converted into a signing bonus, which then saved the Texans $5.6325 million.

6. DE Shaq Lawson

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Lawson had his salary cap figure of $8.5 million in 2021 lowered to $3.242 million. Lawson is still due the $8 million, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, with a $900,000 fully guaranteed base salary and a $6.91 million bonus.

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