Devin McCourty restructures contract to save $2.8 million in cap space

GLENDALE, Arizona -- New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty restructured his contract in a move that puts more money in his pocket immediately while creating $2.8 million in salary-cap space for the team in 2016 and increasing McCourty's cap hits in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The restructure, first reported by the Boston Herald, came as a result of the Patriots turning $3.74 million of McCourty's base salary into an up-front signing bonus. That signing bonus gets prorated over the remaining years of McCourty's contract, which creates the salary-cap savings in 2016 but ups his cap charges about $1 million in each of 2017, 2018 and 2019.

McCourty's cap charge in 2017 is now $10.9 million, increases to $11.9 million in 2018, and then rises to $13.4 million in 2019.

The restructure has been part of a flurry of contract moves the team has made within the last month, which includes extending the contracts of linebacker Jonathan Freeny, special-teams captain Matthew Slater and defensive end Rob Ninkovich.