Big Ben lends hand, frees up cap space

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Ben Roethlisberger became the fifth Steelers player to restructure his deal, and this one might bring the team even with the NFL's salary cap.

Roethlisberger, without giving up any money, reworked his deal for salary cap accounting purposes and cleared about $8 million in team cap room, according to his agent Ryan Tollner.

Since the Steelers were estimated to be about $8 million over the projected $120 million per-team salary cap, it should bring them close to even.

Roethlisberger had a salary of $11.6 million for 2012 before the restructuring. He is signed through the '15 season on an eight-year deal he reached in '08.

To save about $8 million in salary cap room, the Steelers would have had to convert $9 million of Roethlisberger's $11.6 million salary into a signing bonus. For salary cap accounting purposes, that bonus would count $2.25 million against the cap each of the four years remaining on his contract.

Roethlisberger also restructured his contract last season to create salary cap room for the team.

Other veterans who restructured their contracts to create salary cap room for 2012 are linebackers LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons, cornerback Ike Taylor and tackle Willie Colon.

For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at . Ed Bouchette: and Twitter @EdBouchette .


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