Source: Big Ben to restructure deal

Updated: February 27, 2013, 3:54 PM ET
ESPN.com

The Pittsburgh Steelers are close to finalizing a restructuring of Ben Roethlisberger's contract and expectations are that negotiations will be completed by the end of the week, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder.

While few details were immediately available, a source described the restructuring as being quite basic and similar to what the parties have done in previous offseasons to lower his salary-cap figure to alleviate pressure on the Steelers. Roethlisberger is among 10 Steelers players that are scheduled to count $100 million against the team's cap.

Linebacker Lawrence Timmons also agreed to have his contract restructured as the Steelers need to get under the cap by March 12. In the coming weeks, fellow linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who is scheduled to make $9 million and count $9 million against the cap, also will rework his deal.

Timmons received a $7.035 million signing bonus that was used to replace that amount of money he was scheduled to receive in salary and bonuses, a source told ESPN.com. That signing bonus was pro-rated over the final four years of his contract.

Timmons still has a base salary of $840,000. His cap number dropped from $11.16 million to a little over $5 million.

According to multiple reports, wide receiver Antonio Brown has reduced his $4.5 million base salary to the minimum of $650,000.

The remaining $3.85 million was converted to a signing bonus, which will be spread over the five remaining years of Brown's contract.

Roethlisberger was scheduled to make $11.6 million in 2013 but the new deal will save the Steelers several million next season. This is the third straight year that Roethlisberger has restructured his contract. The new contract doesn't affect the money or length of the deal.

ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder, ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton and ESPN.com AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.

ALSO SEE