According to Mike Garafolo, as a part of his restructure, Texans DE Whitney Mercilus had the final two years of his contract converted to void years, making Mercilus a free agent following this season.
Garafolo adds Mercilus received a roster bonus payable for the expected 17th game to be added this year that’s the same as what a prorated game check from his original salary would have been.
Houston took $6 million of Mercilus’ base salary in 2021 and converted it to a signing bonus, spreading it over the remaining three years on his deal.
It’s an interesting move, as Mercilus would have been a potential candidate as a cap cut this year had his contract not made it cheaper for Houston to keep him than release him.
Mercilus, 30, is a former first-round pick of the Texans back in 2012. He was in the final year of his five-year, $27.431 million contract that included $10.8 million guaranteed in 2019 when he signed a four-year, $54 million extension.
In 2020, Mercilus appeared in 13 games for the Texans and recorded 21 tackles, four sacks, a fumble recovery and a pass defense. Pro Football Focus had him rated as the No. 109 edge defender out of 109 qualifying players.