By Matthew Postins
The Dallas Cowboys will have both centers back for 2013 after signing starting Phil Costa to a two-year contract on Saturday.
Multiple outlets, including DallasCowboys.com, reported the deal. ESPNDallas.com reported the two-year contract at a value of $2.7 million.
Costa’s new deal comes on the heels of the Cowboys restructuring the deals of six different veteran players with large cap figures to get under the 2013 salary cap of $123 million.
Costa was to be a restricted free agent next month. Had the Cowboys not signed Costa now, they would have faced a decision as to whether to tender Costa a right-of-first-refusal offer of $1.3 million. That would have entitled Costa to shop himself in free agency, but would have also allowed the Cowboys to match any offer.
It also allows the Cowboys to save a little cap space. Costa will get a $450,000 signing bonus and will count $975,000 against the 2013 salary cap, which allows the Cowboys to save about $350,000.
Costa, theoretically, will be the starter at center in 2013, even though he only played in three games last year and missed the other 13 due to injuries. Costa was a full-time starter in 2011.
The Cowboys earlier in the week restructured the deal of their other center, Ryan Cook, to save cap space.
The Cowboys have saved approximately $24 million in cap space since Wednesday. They could restructure more deals before the 2013 league year begins on March 12.