March 24, 2015 isn't an important deadline on the NFL calendar, but today was a deadline of import for the Houston Texans. As Joel Corry noted back in early February, today was the last day the Texans could lower J.J. Watt's $21,969,000.00 2015 cap number by converting his roster bonus into a signing bonus. Such a move would serve to create cap room for the Texans in 2015, but at the expense of cap flexibility in the years after that. As Brett said in his FanShot, guess what the Texans did?
Source: JJ Watt has restructured his contract. Turned $10M roster bonus into a signing bonus. Creates $8M in cap space for HOU for 2015.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 24, 2015
At first blush, I'm not a fan of this decision. Part of the beauty of J.J. Watt's contract, aside from the fact that it's already a bargain, was that it was structured for the Texans to take their largest dose of cap medicine in 2015. By restructuring Watt's contract, the Texans have forfeited that benefit. While it creates room for additional moves this offseason, this conversion operates to limit the Texans in 2016 and beyond.
Now we wait to see what the Texans will do with this additional cap space. Here's hoping it's something worth the sacrifice. What say you?
UPDATE: Due to the length of J.J.'s deal, the cap hit created by this restructure isn't horrendous.
This prorated the cap hit for Watt's $10M bonus over the life of the contract, so #Texans will have $2M per year from it over next 5 years.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 24, 2015