There was some talk that Austin could be on the chopping block, but this news effectively ends that speculation.
Archer adds that they’ve created an additional $3.65 million with Witten’s contract alone by converting $4.56 million of his 2013 $5.5 million base salary into a signing bonus.
As for Livings, they reduced his $1.7 million base salary to $715,000 with the difference between the two turned into signing bonus. They’ll save $740,000 with this move.
You can expect the Cowboys to continue reworking more contracts in the next few days.
They’ll convert his $5 million base salary into a signing bonus that will be prorated over the course of the deal. This will create $4 million in much needed cap space for the Cowboys.
Albert Breer reports that while the Cowboys will save $4 million this year, Ware’s cap figures for the next two years will balloon to $17 million and and close to $18.5 million respectively.
Schefter adds that Dallas is prepared to rework the contracts of “about a dozen more players” in the next few days.
Rapoport adds that the Cowboys are currently $20 million over the cap, so they would be forced to free up a lot of money in the next few weeks.
Besides Ware and Witten, Rapoport lists: OT Doug Free, CB Brandon Carr, DT Jason Hatcher, G Nate Livings, QB Kyle Orton, DB Orlando Scandrick and WR Miles Austin as others who could be asked to rework their current contracts.
Typically, these moves involved reducing their current salaries to the league minimum and converting the remaining cash into a signing bonus that’s paid out over the duration of the contract. This is a great tactic for the time being, but has the ability to complicate their situations in the coming years.