Sources: Texans restructure Ka’imi Fairbairn, Cameron’s Johnston’s contracts in salary-cap maneuver

Houston Texans coach Lovie Smith, center, talks to the team during a voluntary NFL football minicamp practice Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – The Texans, in need of some salary-cap space heading into the season, created nearly $2.1 million in total cap savings by restructuring veteran kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn and punter Cameron Johnson’s contracts, according to league sources.

Both deals were simple restructures. Fairbairn’s $3.45 million base salary was converted into a $2.415 million signing bonus with a new base salary of $1.035 million lowering his original salary cap figure of $4.3 million to $3.042 for a net cap savings of roughly $1.25 million.

Signed to a four-year, $17.65 million contract extension in 2020 that included a $3 million signing bonus with $9 million guaranteed, the former Lou Groza Award winner from UCLA missed the first three games of last season on injured reserve with a muscle pull.

He has been extremely accurate, connecting on 15 of 19 field goals last season and 13 of 16 extra points. He has hit 119 of 142 career field goals (83.8 percent) and made 161 of 177 career extra points.

Johnston, who is playing under a three-year, $8.017 million deal and had a $2.842 million salary cap figure and a $2.3 million base salary, was restructured to give the Texans an additional $837,000 in salary-cap space.

A former Australian rules football player and Big Ten Conference Punter of the Year, Johnston has also played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Johnston had a 47.2 average last season with a 42.2 net average and had 36 downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

He has a career average of 47.1 yards.

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com