KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly restructured the contract of linebacker Justin Houston, converting a portion of his 2016 salary into a bonus and creating approximately $6 million in cap space this year.
ESPN’s Field Yates first reported the restructured contract.
The team also reportedly waived rookie cornerback KeiVarae Russell, according to a report by NFL Network’s Rand Getlin.
The restructure drops Houston’s 2016 salary by $7.5 million to $7.4 million. That salary converts to a bonus, which is spread over the remaining five years of the the six-year contract Houston signed last year.
That gives Houston a cap number of $13.1 million this year, down from $19.1 million.
It also increases the Chiefs’ salary cap by $1.5 million each year through 2020.
The Chiefs now have $11,170,610 in available cap space, according to the NFLPA salary cap report. The Chiefs can rollover that cap space into next season. That could be needed since the team’s outstanding obligations put their 2017 salary total near the projected cap number.
Freeing salary cap space for this year could also allow the team to sign a potential free agent, or possibly another player acquisition.
The Chiefs selected Russell with in the third round in this year’s draft from Notre Dame. The team listed Russell inactive for Sunday’s game against San Diego.
Russell missed his junior 2014 season with an academic suspension, then played his entire senior season in 2015 with a fractured fibula.