This week Aaron Rodgers made headlines with a massive restructuring of his contract.
The New York Jets‘ signal-caller opted to reduce his salary by $35 million over the next two seasons, helping to give his new team a better chance at constructing a competitive roster.
Though Rodgers’ new deal drew headlines for its size and potential implications on the next chapter of his highly decorated career, it’s not the first time such a restructuring has occurred.
In fact, star quarterbacks and teams agreeing on mutually beneficial contract restructuring has become quite common over the last several years. Here are some of the most notable new deals inked by quarterbacks in recent memory:
For all of Brady’s accomplishments on the field, he was also successful at helping manage his team’s cap situation. Per Spotrac, since 2012 Brady had almost as many contract re-structures as Super Bowl victories. Re-doing his deal twice with the Patriots and once with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady’s willingness to negotiate on active contracts freed up millions in cap space for his teams over the course of his lengthy career.
Playing 20 years in the NFL, and 15 with the Saints, Brees developed a reputation as a consummate professional. One of his final acts with the team reflected that reputation — a pre-retirement contract restructuring that saved the Saints nearly $24 million in cap space ahead of the 2021 offseason. It was a valuable parting gift — as New Orleans was in dire cap straits at the time of the deal.
Mahomes has consistently made clear throughout his career that he’s willing to sacrifice extra cash on his contract in order to allow a better team to be built around him. Mahomes’ 2021 restructuring freed up $17.3 million in cap space, helping the Chiefs lay the foundation for their 2022 Super Bowl run. Ahead of the 2023 season, Mahomes restructured his deal again, saving Kansas City $9.6 million in cap space.
The Cowboys have been trying to find the right formula to win a championship behind Prescott’s arm for years now, an effort that’s been aided plenty by Prescott off the field. The seven-year veteran has now re-structured his contract three times in the last three years — saving Dallas a combined roughly $41 million in cap space in the process. Prescott’s latest restructure was the biggest, clearing $22 million worth of cap in March.
No player in the NFL is owed more guaranteed money than Watson, but he and the Browns came to an agreement over the offseason to restructure his titanic deal to better situate the team for free agency. The Browns struggled last season, and Watson’s return from suspension didn’t rejuvenate the squad either (Cleveland went 3-3 over its final six games). Watson’s new deal saved his team over $35 million in cap space to go towards a retooled 2023 squad.
Allen’s emergence has coincided with the Bills turning from also-rans in the AFC East to top contenders on a yearly basis, but Buffalo is yet to reach the Super Bowl with their new star signal-caller. A restructured deal this offseason for Allen cleared the Bills of $21 million in cap space, helping the team make more additions as they look to make 2023 the year they break through and win the AFC championship.