I thought I tried to address this before, but I guess it didn't stick. Romo's contract was extremely team friendly and the whole plan was to restructure it as needed. Let's again look at every facet of Romo's contract 1. Base Salaries 2013: 1.5 million (restructured) 2014: 1 million (restructured) 2015: 17 million 2016: 8.5 million 2017: 14 million 2018: 19.5 million 2019: 20.5 million 2. Signing Bonus Proration Romo received a 25 million dollar signing bonus. Signing Bonuses can only be prorated over the course of 5 years by NFL rules. This is why teams often sign players to 6 year deals or 7 year deals with the idea that they will restructure those deals and prorate one or two of those years as if it had originally been signing bonus in the first place. Basically a loophole, but what that means is Romo's signing bonus is not on the books for 2018 and 2019. 2013: 5 million 2014: 5 million 2015: 5 million 2016: 5 million 2017: 5 million 2018: 0 2019: 0 So when you look at cap hit you have to look at base salary + signing bonus. 3. Restructured Bonuses Restructured Bonuses are essentially after the fact signing bonuses as I said earlier. The team takes base salary and converts it to prorated bonuses across the range of the contract. A restructure can only be spread 5 years just like a signing bonus, and shouldn't be confused with a paycut. The players are paid upfront. Romo has restructured twice now so these are his restructured bonuses per year 2013: 5,813,833 2014: 5,773,000 2015: 5,773,000 2016: 4,315,000 2017: 2,500,000 2018: 2,500,000 2019: 0 Since prorated money can only be spread 5 years, the amount that goes into later years is limited. That is why you see the amount decrease over time. The most recent restructure doesn't touch 2019 (because that would be the 6th year). 4. Cap Hit The final thing you have to look at is the cap hit per year which takes everything into account 2013: 11.8 million dollars 2014: 11.7 million dollars 2015: 27.7 million dollars 2016: 17.6 million dollars 2017: 21.5 million dollars 2018: 22 million dollars 2019: 20 million dollars 5. Restructuring 2015 As you can see 2015 looks like a huge number, and we'll have to cut Romo, right? No. As you can also see 2016 is a really small number in comparison. First thing you have to realize is that the salary cap increases, so every dollar Romo receives as a percentage of the cap shrinks with each additional year that the cap rises. In other words if the cap is 140 million in 2015 and 150 million in 2016, Romo's percentage of the cap in 2015 is 19.7% and 11.7% respectively. When you look at that and the fact that he still has one more year that is untouched by proration, it makes complete sense to restructure him again next year. Assuming you restructure the entire contract you would take his 17 million dollar base salary subtract the veteran minimum which would be 970k, let's just call it 1 million. Base salary 1 million leaves you with 16 million divided by 5, which gives you 3.2 million in proration per year. 6. Final Cap Hits 2013: 11.8 million dollars 2014: 11.7 million dollars 2015: 27.7 million dollars - 16 million + 3.2 million = 14.9 million (10.6% of projected cap) 2016: 17.6 million dollars + 3.2 million = 20.8 million (13.8% of projected cap) 2017: 21.5 million dollars + 3.2 million = 24.7 million 2018: 22 million dollars + 3.2 million = 25.2 million 2019: 20 million dollars + 3.2 million = 23.2 million This gives you a nice curve of accounting increases, that will be appropriate given increases in the salary cap. And part of the reason why the team wants to focus on the draft more. Of course this has a lot to do with Romo's health and performance. How much would it cost for Romo to be cut? Well that is why you have to look at dead money. Which is another reason why the team is cleaning the books of bad contracts now. 7. Dead Money Current dead money for Romo if he is released: 2014: 41.6 million 2015: 19.9 million 2016: 11.6 million 2017: 5 million 2018: 0 2019: 0 But remember we restructured Romo again in 2015: 2015: 35.9 million 2016: 24.4 million 2017: 14.6 million 2018: 6.4 million 2019: 3.2 million The formula you really need to look at is Base Salary - Dead Money 8. Base Salary vs Dead Money 2015: 14. 9 million - 35.9 million (upside down) 2016: 20.8 million - 24.4 million (upside down, but not by much, if you draft a QB you basically don't feel this dead money at all) 2017: 24.7 - 14.6 (you save 10.1 million by cutting Romo) 2018: 25.2 million - 6.4 million (you save 19 million by cutting Romo) 2019: 23.2 million - 3.2 million (you save 20 million by cutting Romo) You can ultimately cut Romo in 2016 if you want. You take less than a 4 million dollar hit on the salary cap. And who knows depending on where we are, Romo might take a paycut, or maybe we'll be doing so well that we don't need him to. As I suggested earlier, Romo's contract is pretty friendly to our team. These are also assuming we don't cut him in June. Also if you cut him in 2015 instead of restructuring him you also only take a 2 million dollar cap hit. So after 2014, you can do with Romo as you wish.