SS Brandon Meriweather saves Redskins $1.25 million by restructuring contract

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Strong safety Brandon Meriweather effectively took a pay cut Tuesday and saved the Redskins $1.25 million in 2013 salary cap space, according to a source.

Meriweather’s 2013 base salary decreased from $2.45 million to $1.2 million. The $400,000 in prorated signing bonus from the contract he signed with Washington last March, and the $50,000 workout bonus the original contract included for 2013, are present in his restructured deal.

So Meriweather is scheduled to count $1.65 million against Washington’s 2013 cap instead of $2.9 million.

The final three years of Meriweather’s new contract are scheduled to void after the 2013 season; same as the deal he signed last year.

Meriweather and the Redskins finalized the restructure on Tuesday. The cap space that created, in addition to the space gained by restructuring Santana Moss’ and Adam Carriker’s deals, was used to help re-sign punter Sav Rocca and defensive tackle Kedric Golston after 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The Washington Post reported the Redskins on Wednesday morning were only $600,000 under the cap. Representatives for several free agents on Wednesday said the Redskins’ financial constraints were preventing them from seriously pursuing their clients. Coach Mike Shanahan on Monday said that would be the case.

Meriweather, 29, showed promise when healthy last season. His range enabled the Redskins to better disguise coverages in the first half against Philadelphia on Nov. 18. Washington won that game, 31-6, to begin a seven-game winning streak that culminated in the NFC East division championship.

However, Meriweather tore the ACL in his right knee in the second half. That was after a preseason knee injury and a setback during warmups in Week 4 cost him the first nine games of the year. He is expected to be ready for next season.

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