Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez will make almost $7 million in 2012, but will only count $5.9 million toward the team’s salary cap.
The one-year extension Gonzalez signed before Sunday’s regular-season finale was structured in a way that the Falcons were able to write off $1 million toward 2011 salary-cap space, according to contract details obtained by ESPN.com. The other $1 million in the renegotiation bonus will count toward the 2012 cap.
Gonzalez’s base salary for 2012 will be $3.9 million, but he also already earned that $2 million renegotiation bonus. The deal also includes a $1 million bonus if Gonzalez is on the roster on opening day.
That appears to be a certainty. Gonzalez, 35, has talked about retirement at various times. But he had a strong 2011 season and the extension was an obvious sign Gonzalez isn’t ready to retire. With the new deal for Gonzalez factored in, the Falcons now have about $95 million committed toward the 2011 salary cap.