San Diego Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal was originally expected to make $4.5 million next season and count $6 million against the cap, and both of those totals would have been far too rich for a No. 3 wide receiver. Royal is a decent player and caught an excellent eight touchdown passes last season, but he isn’t nearly good enough to count $6 million against the cap. The U-T San Diego’s Michael Gehlken reported yesterday that Royal agreed to a restructured contract, but it’s unclear if he actually took a paycut or if something else happened.
My guess is that Royal simply took a paycut, because he is heading into a contract year in 2014. Most contract restructurings call for base salary to be turned into bonus money later on in the contract in order to reduce a player’s short-term cap hit by spreading out their base salary over the course of their deal. But since Royal has just one year left on his contract, there’s no time to spread out his deal anyway. It’s going to be interesting to see what exactly are the details of Royal’s restructuring, but it looks like he took a legitimate paycut and will have the chance to earn more money if he matches incentives.
Royal was at no risk to be released this offseason, though, as the 27-year-old caught 47 passes for 631 yards last season as a decent wideout. He had five games with at least 50 receiving yards in a game, but he also caught more than five passes in a game just once- this confirms that he’s nothing more than a quality WR3.