Florham Park N.J. - Like many other NFL teams, the New York Jets continue to make their their final roster tweaks before their season officially kicks off Sunday. To accommodate the salary cap, the Jets have restructured cornerback Buster Skrine's contract. NJ Advance Media's Darryl Slater was the first to report the new deal. By NFL rule, all teams must have been within the salary cap before Thursday at midnight - the first official day of the NFL regular season.
This move allows the Jets to get under the cap while free some valuable space that will be necessary this upcoming season - it creates $2.5 million in salary cap space. According to Jason Fitzgerald of overthecap.com, the Jets have $435,288 in cap space after the Skrine restructure.
There was plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Jets during the offseason with both quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson wanting new contracts on a cap-crunched team. But, general manager Mike Maccagnan was able to negotiate new deals without being penalized. With the two stars signed to big money deals, the Jets were nearly handcuffed financially.
Skrine signed with the Jets in March 2015 after spending the first four seasons of his career with the Cleveland Browns. He was brought in on a four-year deal worth $25 million, including a $5 million signing bonus with $13 million guaranteed as a starting cornerback lining up on the inside opposite of Darrelle Revis. By restructuring his deal, Skrine's cap hit will decrease from $7.754 million to $5.254 million.
Technically speaking, Skrine's base salary prior to the restructure was $6.5 million. Now, it dropped to $2.75 million - a decrease of $3.75 million. The decrease Skrine was losing in base salary has since been changed into a signing bonus. In the end, Skrine does not lose any money while still being paid. While the Jets gain cap savings in the short term - according to Slater - the team will still have to pay the cornerback who is under contract through 2018.
Last season, the cornerback played in all 16 contests but only started eight times. He played predominately on the inside when the Jets defense was in the nickle formation. In total, he compiled 55 tackles and one interception.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)