Cardinals LG Justin Pugh agrees to paycut in 2021, reduces cap hit

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Jess Root
·2 min read
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Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told reporters on Monday he sees Justin Pugh as the team’s starting left guard in 2021. He was scheduled to have a cap hit of more than $11 million and some believed he could either be traded or released in a move to save cap space.

He has apparently redone his contract.

He was originally scheduled to make $7.75 million in salary in 2021, $250,000 of which was fully guaranteed. He was also due a $500,000 roster bonus on Monday.

According to Over the Cap and also reflected on the NFLPA database, Pugh agreed to a pay cut and a delay in his roster bonus.

Instead of a salary of $7.75 million in 2021, he will make a fully guaranteed $4 million. He can still earn up to $1 million more in per-game roster bonuses, based on the number of games he is active.

His cap hit for the season will now be as much as $7 million — his $4 million salary, his $2 million signing bonus proration charge, and then the potential of $1 million more for his per-game roster bonus.

That is a reduction of $4.25 million against the cap.

Pugh himself acknowledged the move and indicated his intention of finishing his career with the Cardinals.

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He is now due a $1 million roster bonus in 2022 instead of $500,000 this year and next year. He is still scheduled to make more than $8 million in 2022, although the contract structure makes it likely he is cut next year to avoid the $1 million roster bonus.

This gives the Cardinals a little more cap space, which is necessary. They still have done nothing at cornerback, tight end, or running back since the start of free agency.

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2021 Cardinals free agent tracker: Additions, departures, re-signings, tenders, trades

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