The Bucs have asked some of its players to help the team return to the Super Bowl by restructuring their contracts in order to create more salary cap room, which would allow the Pewter Pirates to re-sign some of its free agents and add some new players via free agency.
The Bucs, who had already reworked the deals of cornerback Ronde Barber and kicker Martin Gramatica, have restructured Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Derrick Brooks' contract. The move, which helped the Bucs get under the NFL-mandated $75-million salary cap before Thursday's 4:00 p.m. deadline, was executed just in time as the free-agent signing period will begin on Friday, Feb. 28.
Brooks, the NFL Defensive Player of Year last season, received a contract extension through the 2006 season after a two-week holdout during the Bucs' 2001 training camp. He was scheduled to have $6.883-million cap value in 2003.
Although Brooks has reworked his contract and the Bucs have released centers Jeff Christy and Todd Washington in salary cap maneuvers, the Pewter Pirates will likely continue to try and rework more of deals, which could include the contracts of quarterback Brad Johnson, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, safety John Lynch and defensive end Simeon Rice.