When the Cardinals acquired center Rodney Hudson in a trade with the Raiders two weeks ago bringing with him a $9.9 million salary-cap charge for 2021, we predicted a restructured contract could occur in the near future to reduce the cap hit.
Hudson’s compensation for 2021 included a $9.55 million base salary plus a $350,000 workout bonus. In 2022, the final year of his contract, the base salary was scheduled to be $10.5 million plus another $350,000 workout bonus.
Here is what we wrote: “Due to the lower salary cap this year, he could be a serious candidate for contract restructuring to spread the cap hit over potential voidable seasons beyond 2022.
“As one example, the Cardinals could take $8 million or more of his base salary and convert it to a signing bonus. With two voidable years, the bonus would count $2 million each year, which would save $6 million in cap space this season.”
It turns out we weren’t far off.
AllCardinals has learned via overthecap.com that a restructured deal converted $8.8 million of his 2021 compensation including the workout bonus into a signing bonus, leaving a $1.1 million base salary, which is now guaranteed.
Most important, three voidable years were added after 2022 so the signing bonus can be prorated over five years at $1.76 million per year. That $9.9 million cap charge has now been lowered to $2.86 million, a savings of more than $7 million. According to overthecap.com, the Cardinals now have an estimated $15.1 million in cap room.
The Cardinals have also used voidable years in the contracts for defensive end J.J. Watt and wide receiver A.J. Green to lower their cap numbers for 2021.
In addition, the 2022 workout bonus was added to Hudson’s base salary, increasing it to $10.85 million. His scheduled cap figure next year is currently $12.61 million.