The Seattle Seahawks provided themselves increased salary cap space while retaining one of their core players Saturday.
The Seahawks and tight end Zach Miller restructured Miller's contract in order to reduce what was going to be a significant salary cap hit.
Miller's original contract had him set to make $5.8 million with a $1 million roster bonus in 2014. That would have caused a $7 million hit against the NFL's $133,000,000 salary cap. His old contract was set to go down in 2015, falling to a $2,800,000 in base salary, but also included $3,000,000 in bonuses, resulting in a $6 million salary cap hit.
NFL.com reported that Miller's reworked contract will be for two years and worth up to $8 million after incentives.
The news of the restructure was first reported by Mynorthwest.com.
The Seahawks will take every penny saved as they try to figure ways to extend the contracts of Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, who can become free agents after next season.
The Seahawks have been working since the season ended to expand their salary cap space. They cut veterans Red Bryant and Chris Clemons to do just that and it was logical to anticipate Miller may suffer the same fate.
Miller reworking his deal, exact terms were not disclosed, enables them to retain their starting tight end, who is crucial in the Seahawks' run-first offense.
Miller, 28, will be heading into his eighth NFL season. He's been coached by Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable every season he has been in the NFL. Seattle uses Cable's zone-blocking scheme to run the ball and Miller has a PHD in the system.
He finished with 33 receptions for 387 yards and five touchdowns last season. Miller has 96 catches in three season with the Seahawks.
Miller heads up a tight end group that includes Luke Willson, who is going into his second year, and Anthony McCoy, who is coming back from an Achilles' tendon tear that happened last May.
The Seahawks had former Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley in for a visit this week. Finley suffered a spinal injury last October, which required spinal fusion surgery. He must pass a physical before moving forward with any team.