With the salary cap clocking in at a disappointing $182.5 million, the Falcons are now in a position where they will have to restructure some top contracts just to even have enough guys to field a roster. I broke down how much space the Falcons could create yesterday, and I talked about restructuring the top six contracts to open up the maximum amount of space. Terry Fontenot went to the Mickey Loomis school of restructuring, so I’d be willing to bet he’s very aggressive with this tactic. However, even though the salary cap should rise by a lot in 2022, how many of these guys SHOULD Atlanta restructure?
*All figures are via Over the Cap.
QB Matt Ryan
This one is probably going to happen, regardless if national media pundits who want Atlanta to trade Ryan like it or not. By restructuring Ryan alone, the Falcons can get themselves out of the red by a few hundred thousand dollars.
Max Restructure: $21,925,000
Remaining Cap Hit: $26,295,833
New Dead Money: $71,862,449
WR Julio Jones:
I believe Julio will be restructured as well, and even though this would make a potential trade much more difficult, I don’t think that’s a very good move anyways. Restructuring Julio would give Atlanta about $10 million to spend immediately after Ryan’s restructuring.
Max Restructure: $14,225,000
Remaining Cap Hit: $13,566,667
New Dead Money: $52,775,001
Jarrett is another that has to restructure; he’s going to be a piece of this team for a long time. His dead money implication means little to nothing to me, but the savings for 2021 sure do.
Max Restructure: $12,510,000
Remaining Cap Hit: $12,745,000
New Dead Money: $28,010,000
Jake Matthews is the last guy that I feel like you HAVE to restructure. He’s not going anywhere, so the dead money isn’t as big of an implication. Matthews pushes Atlanta to a little under $26 million in cap space.
Max Restructure: $11,925,000
Remaining Cap Hit: $12,264,200
New Dead Money: $30,778,400
LB Deion Jones
I have no problems restructuring Deion Jones because I think he’s going to be on the Falcons for a while and the team shouldn’t worry about his dead money. However, he doesn’t present as much savings as some of the others on this list. Restructuring Jones and following the names above gives the Falcons about $31 million in breathing room.
Max Restructure: $7,210,000 ($480,000 Roster Bonus)
Remaining Cap Hit: $7,503,333
New Dead Money: $19,539,999
EDGE Dante Fowler Jr
This is the big question mark. Pushing Fowler’s cap hit down the road is a dangerous game, especially with how poorly he played in 2020. He may bounce back, but by restructuring his contract the Falcons would have about $37 million to spend in free agency — and a big mess next offseason if he doesn’t play well.
Max Restructure: $12,010,000 ($1,000,000 Roster Bonus)
Remaining Cap Hit: $12,161,666
New Dead Money: $28,343,334