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Roethlisberger restructures contract, saves Steelers $6M against cap

| Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 12:09 p.m.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throws against the Browns on Dec. 30, 2012, at Heinz Field. (Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review)
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plays against Cincinnati on Oct. 21, 2012, at Paul Brown Stadium Stadium. (Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review)

Another day, another restructured contract for the Steelers.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was at the team's South Side facility Thursday finishing the details of a restructured contract that will save the Steelers $6 million against this year's salary cap, a source with knowledge of the deal said.

The Steelers restructured Lawrence Timmons' contract Tuesday and Antonio Brown's contract Wednesday, the team confirmed.

With the NFL announcing the 2013 salary cap at $123 million, the Steelers are in compliance about two weeks before the March 12 deadline.

The Steelers' Rule of 51 - the top 51 contracts count toward the salary cap - sits close to $2 million below the cap.

The team has whittled a little more than $14 million in salary off its cap hit with the restructures and could add more if they rework linebacker LaMarr Woodley's contract, as expected.

This is the third straight year Roethlisberger has restructured his deal. Last year, restructuring dropped his 2012 cap number from $16.92 million to $8.895 million. Roethlisberger was set to count $19.6 million against the 2013 cap.

By reducing his cap number this year, Roethlisberger's cap hit increases to $17.9 million and $17.4 million over the final two years of his deal. Roethlisberger could be a candidate to have his contract extended next year.

The Steelers have restructured 13 contracts since the end of the lockout in 2011.

Even though the Steelers are in cap compliance, they still will have to free up about $5 million by the deadline to be able to offer tenders to restricted free agents Emmanuel Sanders, Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, Steve McLendon, Stevenson Sylvester and exclusive-rights free agents DeMarcus VanDyke and Baron Batch.

The Steelers also would need to free up money if they want to sign any one of their 16 unrestricted free agents, headed by Rashard Mendenhall, Keenan Lewis, Mike Wallace, Ramon Foster and Larry Foote.

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