Last weekend was the day we would know officially whether Marshawn Lynch would be back with the Raiders in 2018. It was already a pretty sure bet, based on everything we were hearing, but Saturday was when his roster bonus was due and that’s where the rubber hits the road.
When that deadline hit, Marshawn was still a member of the Raiders. What we’re finding out now is just prior to that, he accepted a restructured deal which knocked $500K off his cap number for this season, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
#Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch restructured his contract Saturday before his $1M roster bonus was due. Base value in 2018 is now $5.5M — $500K less than before — but he’s practically guaranteed $4.5M of that (instead of $0) ... and can earn up to $9.25M total with incentives.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 21, 2018
As with any restructured deal, the player is not simply taking a pay cut. They’re trading in non-guaranteed money for guarantees plus incentives. Often those incentives allow the possibility of surpassing their original salary. This is one such case.
This move along with the trades of Cordarrelle Patterson and Jamize Olawale saved the Raiders $5.39 million in money against the cap.
It’s clear the Raiders are making every little move they can in order to clear cap space, which would suggest they’re actively attempting to make room for a large investment. Adding another receiver like Allen Hurns (with whom they have shown interest) would be a somewhat sizable investment. The largest investment, however, is coming to visit today — Ndamukong Suh.