The Broncos requested the change to insure themselves against having to pay Manning's $20 million salary in 2014 in the event he can't play because of a non-neck injury that might be suffered this season.
The new contract doesn't change Manning's pay and is not a restructured deal in the traditional sense, but the league's treatment of Manning's contract does change, Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday.
The contract Manning originally signed in 2012 included a $20 million salary for 2013 and 2014. Under the new deal, Manning gets a $10 million salary advance in exchange for his base salaries in 2013 and 2014 being lowered to $15 million each season.
Citing a source with knowledge of the contract details, Yahoo! Sports reports that the $10 million advance will be treated like a signing bonus and prorated over four seasons. The net result of that? Manning's cap number reportedly gets reduced by $2.5 million in 2013 and 2014, then rises by $2.5 million in 2015 and 2016.
With the Broncos still possibly in the hunt for free agents such as Charles Woodson, the extra cap space this year might turn out to be important after all.