The Dallas Cowboys were busy today, restructuring five players' contracts in a search for salary cap relief heading into the 2013 NFL league year. One of those players was wide receiver Miles Austin, who had been a potential cap casualty for the Cowboys if he hadn't agreed to the new deal. Earlier this week, we speculated that the Miami Dolphins could be interested in Austin if he hit the free agent market.
Now, that's no longer an option. Austin's new deal transferred some of his $6.7 million base salary into a signing bonus, allowing Austin to not take a pay cut, but letting the Cowboys spread the bonus over the three remaining seasons on his contract for salary cap purposes. Of course, that just means that the Cowboys will get some immediate relief this year, but face further salary cap problems in future years.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, could have targeted Austin if he were released. Miami general manager Jeff Ireland and assistant general manager Brian Gaine were leaders in the Cowboys front office when the team signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Monmouth in 2006.
For more on the Cowboys restructuring and salary cap space, check out SB Nation's Blogging the Boys.