Ravens create cap space by restructuring Marshal Yanda's contract

The Baltimore Ravens created nearly $4 million in salary cap space before the start of free agency by restructuring the contract of Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda, according to ESPN's Field Yates.

The Ravens converted $5.3 million of Yanda's $6.19 million base salary this season into a bonus, which opened up $3.975 million in cap space, a source told Yates.

Yanda, who has gone to the Pro Bowl the last five seasons, doesn't lose any money. This is an allocation of money, not a pay cut. By giving Yanda most of his base salary now, Baltimore can spread that $5.3 million over the remaining four years of his deal, which lowers his cap number in 2016 but raises his cap figures in the final three years (2017, 2018 and 2019) by $1.3 million.

So, Yanda's cap number in 2016 goes from $7.985 million to $4.01 million, which now ranks 12th on the team. But his cap figure in 2017 jumps from $7.8 million to $9.125 million.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has said in the past that the team wants to limit the amount of restructured contracts because it just pushes the cap hits into future seasons. Baltimore only restructured two deals last year (linebacker Terrell Suggs and center Jeremy Zuttah).

The restructuring of Yanda's contract and the three-year extension with quarterback Joe Flacco has opened up $10 million in cap space over the last two weeks.