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How Peyton Manning's salary connects to Beason and the Panthers

By Jonathan Jones
jjones@charlotteobserver.com

The Denver Broncos are covering their bases when it comes to a recently injured star and the salary cap.

According to a ProFootballTalk.com report, the Broncos restructured quarterback Peyton Manning's contract in a way that doesn't change the future Hall of Famer's compensation but instead helps the team with the cap in the event of an injury.

Manning is due to make $40 million in guaranteed money split over the next two seasons. The report states the Broncos added an insurance clause to Manning's contract that stipulates if Manning re-injures his neck (he had four surgeries on it in 2011) the contract can then refer to the insurance policy and Denver can receive a cap credit.

How does this work? Let's refer to Article 13, Section 6, Rule IV of the CBA:

In the event that a Club receives a refund from the player of any previously-paid Salary...such amount as has previously been included in Team Salary shall be credited to the Club's Team Salary for the next League Year... [I]nsurance proceeds received by a Team as beneficiary to cover the player's inability to perform services required by his Player Contract shall be deemed a "refund from the player" if (a) the Club or the player purchased the policy (b) the amounts covered by the policy are so specified in the Player Contract; and (c) the policy is made available for inspection upon request by the NFL or the NFLPA.

I've gotten a lot of tweets since the start of the offseason asking if Panthers LB Jon Beason will consider restructuring his deal. Those questions were resurrected Wednesday after the news of RB DeAngelo Williams restructuring his deal with the Panthers.

There are no indications the Panthers have approached Beason about restructuring his contract, which he inked in 2011 as a five-year, $51.5 million deal. Since then he's suffered an Achilles injury that sat him out nearly all of the 2011 season, and shoulder and knee injuries kept him out of three-quarters of last year.

At $8.4 million under the cap, the Panthers aren't under any great pressure to restructure another contract, especially one for a former Pro Bowl linebacker who just lost his starting middle linebacker position.

But an insurance policy on a high-priced, important but recently oft-injured part of your team? Denver just showed it can be done.

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