PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers restructured the contract of left tackle Marvel Smith on Friday to free up $2.55 million in salary cap space.
Smith will be paid the minimum-wage base salary of $540,000 in 2005 instead of the $3.95 million in salary he had been due. The remaining $3.4 million was paid to Smith this week as a signing bonus.
Prior to the 2003 season, Smith agreed to a six-year contract that included a $6 million signing bonus.
Last year, Smith restructured his base salary and was given $1.7 million in bonus money.
Over the last three years, Smith has been given $11.1 million in bonus money while making the NFL minimum in salary each year.
The Steelers need the money gained from the restructuring in order to sign their upcoming draft class. They also might use the money to negotiate multiple-year contracts for restricted free agents Chris Hope, Verron Haynes, Lee Mays or Brett Keisel.