The Detroit Lions have done a wonderful job bringing back several players from last season while maintaining some continuity and bringing in some fresh faces to fill in some glaring holes. Additionally, with the early free agency wave now over, we can clearly see the team’s salary cap positions heading into the draft.
With the help of Over the Cap, below are the 2023 cap hits for the players the Lions signed this off-season:
Cam Sutton – $3,280,000
David Montgomery – $2,845,588
Alex Anzalone – $2,500,000
John Kominsky – $2,300,000
Isaiah Buggs – $1,700,000
Matt Nelson – $1,300,000
Will Harris – $1,232,500
Ross Piercebacher – $1,010,000
Craig Reynolds – $940,000
Emmanuel Mosley – Details awaited
Graham Glasgow – details awaited
Michael Badgley – details awaited
As you can see, cap hits are very reasonable this season. That leaves the Lions with current cap space of approximately $18.4 million. General manager Brad Holmes structured deals to be backloaded while adding canceled years, giving the Lions the flexibility to manipulate the remainder of free agency and the draft, notably with five of their seven draft picks in the top 100.
A helpful tool through the OTC, it provides an effective cap space number that considers Top 51 contracts and potential rookie class contract numbers. These projections give the approximate amount of cap space a team may be after. For example, OTC estimates that the Lions will spend roughly $8.3 million to sign their rookie class.
Looking at the 2022 draft class and the cap hits the players have slated the Lions with this year in the respective draft picks, the cap hit comes out to near $13 million, and that’s if the Lions stick with their current draft picks . But, of course, this is considering the money they can offer to priority undrafted free agents.
Using the effective cap space numbers provided by the OTC and previous transactions, the Lions could have roughly $5-$10 million left in cap space, depending on how long they spend signing their rookie class. How are contracts structured?
Currently, the Lions sit comfortably at the top of the league in available funds with their salary cap giving them flexibility if they decide to go after another free agent. Plus, they could still use the money to potentially restructure, with Halapulivati Vaitai and Romeo Okwara giving the Lions extra breathing room if needed.