Eagles no longer need Lane Johnson to restructure his contract

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Reuben Frank
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Nearing salary cap compliance, Eagles no longer need Lane to restructure originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Lane Johnson won’t be restructuring his contract.

Not because he doesn’t want to. Because he doesn’t need to.

A league source told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark that the Eagles informed Johnson that they no longer need him to re-work his contract since they’ll be able to get down to their salary cap by the deadline without restructuring his deal.

The source said Johnson was willing to restructure but it simply wasn't needed.

All NFL teams must be cap-compliant by Wednesday, the start of the official league year. 

The Eagles have an adjusted cap figure of just under $207 million and went into the offseason needing to trim about $40 million in 2021 cap obligations.

The primary methods for doing this are by releasing or trading players whose dead money figure for 2021 is less than their cap figure or by restructuring contracts and converting base salary, which only counts against the cap in the year it’s paid, into a signing bonus, which pro-rates over the life of the contract.

But that does increase cap obligations in future years, when the cap will be drastically higher, so there’s no reason to have a player restructure if it's not necessary. 

The Eagles have already restructured Darius Slay, Isaac Seumalo, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce and Javon Hargrave and released DeSean Jackson. They’ve also restructured June 1 cut designees Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson to lower their cap hits.

They still have to either restructure or release Derek Barnett to avoid paying him a $10 million base salary that guarantees on Wednesday.

They’re also reportedly in talks with Brandon Graham on a restructure, although that one as well may not be necessary.

And they would also save money by trading Zach Ertz.

Although not all the contract details are yet available, it appears the Eagles are still somewhere around $10 million over their so-called Top-51 cap limit.

The NFL’s Rule of 51 says that from the start of the league year — Wednesday — until final roster cuts, only each team’s 51 highest cap figures count against the cap. That’s simply so teams can carry full offseason rosters up to 90 players without going over the cap.

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