As I've noted in the past couple of blog entries, the Lions are very tight against the cap. They freed up some cap space recently when they renegotiated Dewayne White's contract. When White originally signed on 03/05/07, he received a $10,000,000 signing bonus and his 2008 compensation was scheduled to include a base salary of $2,000,000 and a roster bonus of $1,000,000, payable on the 7th day of the league year. The original contract put his 2008 salary cap cost at $5,000,000
As a part of the restructure, his base salary was reduced from $2,000,000 to $605,000. What likely happened is that the Lion's paid him $1,395,000 bonus to restructure and reduced his base salary to the league minimum, based on his years of service. This is the same type of restructure they did when they restructured Jeff Backus' contract back at the end of September, 2007.
Under the above assumptions, the restructure would save the Lion's $1,046,250 of cap space. White's 2008 Salary cap cost would be reduced to $3,953,750.
- $605,000 (2008 base salary)
- $1,000,000 (Roster bonus paid on 7th day of league year)
- $2,000,000 (Signing bonus proration $10M/5year contract)
- $348,750 (Renegotiation proration $1,395,000/4years remaining)
Non-guaranteed Workout Bonuses - Are bonuses that are payable for participation in the teams offseason workout program, which is a 4 day per week, 14 week program. The minimum workout bonus for any player is $130 per day. Players that receive a workout bonus that is in excess of the league minimum have the amount included in their player's salary cap cost immediately. For players that don't have a workout bonus stipulated in their contract, the entire cost of the program is included in their player's salary cap cost when they start the program. The cost would be $6,720 for any player that begins the workout program at the start (March 17th).
The following players have workout bonuses written into their contracts and their bonuses have already been accounted for:
- 500,000 Edwin Mulitalo
- 250,000 Cory Redding
- 100,000 Roy Williams
- 100,000 Dominic Raiola
- 100,000 Mike Furrey
- 100,000 Chuck Darby
- 75,000 Dan Campbell
- 50,000 Jon Kitna
- 50,000 Jeff Backus
- 50,000 Ernie Sims
- 50,000 Paris Lenon
- 25,000 Shaun Cody
- 20,000 Casey Fitzsimmons
The Lions have 51 other players under contract. For any player that entered the workout program when it began on March 17th, they would be scheduled to receive $6,720 workout bonus for the year. If all players that were eligible to enter the program, did enter the program, the combined cost would be $342,720. Since only the Top 51 player contracts count against the cap, the salary cap cost would be around $200,000.
L. Moore, Stephen Peterman, S. Wilson and D. Orlovsky are Restricted Free Agents and are not allowed to participate in the program until they agree to their tender.
Based on the above, I'd estimate the Lion's current cap status at $1,000,000 under the cap.