The Pittsburgh Steelers have restructured starting defensive end Cam Heyward's contract.
In the process, Pittsburgh saved over $3 million that they previously agreed to pay Heyward.
Per Steelers Depot, the move points to a coming extension for Stephon Tuitt.
"In all likelihood, the Steelers probably converted $4.225 million of the $5 million base salary that Heyward was scheduled to earn in 2017 into a signing bonus. Such a restructure would clear $3,168,750 in salary cap space this year. If that’s indeed what happened, below is a look at what such a restructure would do to Heyward’s contract," wrote the blog.
"The net effect of this restructure likely resulted in Heyward’s previously scheduled cap charges in 2018, 2019 and 2020 increasing by $1,056,250."
Heyward and the Steelers previously agreed to terms on a six-year, $59.2 million contract in July 2015 after the Ohio State product tallied a career-high 7.5 sacks in 2014.
Heyward followed up by registering 7.0 sacks in 2015, but he was limited to seven appearances last season due to a hamstring issue and a pectoral injury that ultimately landed him on injured reserve.
With additional cash flow at their disposal, the Steelers will be in a position to make one last push for an extension with defensive line Stephon Tuitt before the season starts.
According to ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler, Tuitt—who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2018—said Aug. 24 he thought the odds of the two sides reaching an agreement before Week 1 were "50/50."
"[Tuitt] is deserving of whatever they give him," Heyward said, per Fowler. "He is still growing. He's not a complete player yet. His ceiling is so high. He's a great pass-rusher and he's just going to continue to grow and get better."