Clinton McDonald restructure adds to offseason injury woes

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 2: Clinton McDonald #98 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers slams Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos for a sack late in the second quarter during their game at Raymond James Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 2: Clinton McDonald #98 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers slams Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos for a sack late in the second quarter during their game at Raymond James Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images) /
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The Broncos have had a few injuries on their defensive front this offseason, and Clinton McDonald’s contract restructure is the latest sign of the times…

A couple of key contributors on the Denver Broncos’ defensive front are missing from offseason work, including free agent acquisition Clinton McDonald from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McDonald was a captain with the Buccaneers and is a superstar in the community, and has already been getting involved in that regard with the Denver community.

Unfortunately, he has been unable to get on the field in OTAs and the Broncos must feel like some of his regular season is in jeopardy, because they’ve agreed to a contract restructure with McDonald.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, McDonald and the Broncos came to an agreement on a contract restructure that will drop his base salary this season from $3 million to $1 million, and his roster bonus will be on a per-game basis.

So, in essence, the more McDonald is available to the Broncos, the more money he can make.

In March, he signed a two-year contract worth $7 million in total money.

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I’m not a salary cap guru, so I don’t know if the conversion of base salary to roster bonuses saves the Broncos anything against the salary cap to be able to add players elsewhere, but that would seem to make some sense.

The Broncos are protecting themselves in this situation, and understandably so.

They recently also made the decision not to pay Shane Ray over $9 million in 2019 with his fifth-year rookie option, which initially struck me as a very poor decision.

Since they made that decision, it’s been revealed that Ray needs a fourth operation on his injured wrist, indicating the team obviously knows a lot more about his injury and overall situation than I or anyone else.

The Broncos are known for making very calculated financial decisions and this is no exception. Despite signing McDonald to a free agent contract just a couple of months ago, he was asked to restructure for the betterment of the team.

The Broncos are inviting McDonald to earn his contract, not unlike they did last year with Jamaal Charles.