Butler helps clear cap room

LeRoy Butler, as he has done a handful of times in recent years, restructured his contract to provide the Green Bay Packers with more salary cap space. The 12th-year pro is battling back from a season-ending shoulder injury in 2001.<p>

Reports have indicated that Butler's base salary for this season was cut from $2.25 million to to $750,000, but could earn up to $750,000 more through incentives based on playing time. Butler will be up against fourth-year pro Antuan Edwards and rookie Marques Anderson for the right to start at safety when training camp opens July 27.

"It just shows again what a great team player he is," agent Gene Burrough told ESPN.com. "He'll do whatever it takes to help out."

Butler probably will not take part in full contact drills for the first couple of weeks of training camp. He suffered a a fractured left scapula last Nov. 18 against Atlanta, snapping a streak of 116 straight appearances.

This is the third time the four-time Pro Bowler, who has played his entire career in Green Bay, has reworked his contract to help the team. Last year Butler took a $980,000 pay cut. In 1998, he agreed to a base salary of $525,000, a year after signing a five-year extension worth $15 million, including a $4.5 million signing bonus.

Butler is under contract through 2005. According to reports, his base salaries for future years are scheduled to be $3.5 million (for 2002), $4 million (2003) and $5 million (2005). In addition there are roster bonuses of $1.15 million ('03), $2.5 million ('04) and $5 million ('05), due each April 1 of those seasons.

Butler needs to play in all 16 games this season to break Bart Starr's franchise record for most appearances. He currently ranks fourth on the team's all-time list, behind Starr (196), Ray Nitschke (190) and Forrest Gregg (187).


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