Antonio Brown converts 2018 base salary into signing bonus

PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown is giving the Steelers much-needed salary-cap relief by restructuring his contract.

The All-Pro receiver is converting most of his $7.875 million base salary and his $6 million roster bonus into signing bonuses, freeing up around $9.7 million in cap space, according to a source.

His new salary will be around $915,000. Brown used Snapchat to post a snippet of agent Drew Rosenhaus explaining his reworked contract.

The addition of Le'Veon Bell's $14.544 million franchise tag puts the Steelers $8.7 million over the salary-cap line. The Brown restructure brings the Steelers $1.022 million into the positive.

Brown enters the first year of a four-year, $68 million extension signed in February 2017.

Last month, the Steelers created $13.26 million in cap space by reworking the deals of guard David DeCastro and defensive end Stephon Tuitt, according to ESPN's Field Yates.

The team might not be done if it decides to chase defensive help in free agency. The Steelers can create more than $10 million in space by releasing a handful of defensive veterans, while while defensive end Cam Heyward ($12.4 million cap hit), cornerback Joe Haden ($11.6 million) and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva ($7.6 million) could be candidates to restructure contracts.