With the preseason getting underway with Sunday's Hall of Fame Game, competition for roster spots officially will ramp up. Before the action begins, however, Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap and Tampa Bay Buccaneers right tackle Jeremy Trueblood already have helped their causes by agreeing to pay cuts.
Last month, Around the League identified Trueblood as a potential (though unlikely) cap casualty at the end of training camp due to his $5.25 million base salary. According to Scott Reynolds of PewterReport.com, Trueblood agreed to a pay cut before training camp, lowering his base salary to $4 million, a decrease of $1.25 million, $1 million of which had been earned by triggering a playing-time incentive.
"It is what it is," Trueblood said of his pay cut, which became official on July 30. "It's football -- just part of the business of things. I've seen worse when you get a call the day before camp."
In order to get Trueblood to agree to the reduction, the Buccaneers have fully guaranteed his $4 million base salary and the 29-year-old can earn an additional $250,000 playing-time incentive, which is listed as "Likely To Be Earned" and currently counts against the team's salary cap.
Heap caught 24 passes for 283 yards and just one touchdown as injuries limited the 32-year-old to 10 games and about one-third of the team's offensive plays last season. Due $2.15 million in base salary in the second and final year of his contract with the Cardinals, Heap agreed to reduce his salary by $1 million on July 27.
According to a source with knowledge of Heap's contract, his new $1.15 million salary is fully guaranteed, though there are no incentives available for him to make the income lost by agreeing to the reduction.