From reading your (very nice btw) post explaining the aspects of cap hits and players salaries I have come to the conclusion that unless a player accepts a pay cut then restructures/extentions are nothing more than immediate relief that is thrown onto the backside of a contract usually in the form of guaranteed/signing bonus!
I will admit that I am very interested in how a player can restructure and be given more guaranteed money while alleviating the cap hit both short and long term...........please explain to me how
You have to look at it as cap figures vs. actual money which are not the same thing. The players want the actual money and the team wants the manageable cap figure. So if we straight up cut Deangelo, he would lose a lot of actual money and our cap figure wouldn't be any better really. So you go to him and say instead of cutting you, why don't you agree to a more team friendly contract and keep a much higher portion of the money. It's just that it normally works in both parties best interest to restructure.
There are more detailed explanations but I think that's a pretty good layman way of looking at it.