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Slade restructures deal

New England linebacker Chris Slade has restructured his contract in effort to help the team create salary cap space for the 2000 season.

Brad Blank, the agent for the seven-year veteran, said that the Patriots and Slade have agreed to restructure the remaining two years of the 5-year deal the outside linebacker inked in February of 1997. agreement means that the base salary Slade was scheduled to receive in 2000 is now guaranteed.

Slade's 2000 base salary is now treated as a signing bonus, and will be spread evenly over the two remaining years on the deal. Half of the money will count against this year's cap, and half will be counted against next season's cap.

"The restructure doesn't affect the money Chris will receive," Blank said. "He doesn't get any more money or any less money. Basically the restructuring just spreads the money out and gives the team more flexibility for the salary cap.

The restructured deal does not include an extension to Slade's contract. He is under contract through the 2001 season.

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