With Dan Campbell being placed on IR last year and the uncertainty of when he'll be fully recovered from his elbow injury, the Lions resigned John Owens and signed UFA Michael Gaines.
Owens is now a 5 year veteran who was originally signed midway through last season to help as a blocking TE. Although there are no reports that I can find on how much he signed for, the fact that his base salary is $605,000, leads me to believe that he signed for the Veteran Minimum. For five year veterans whose contract qualifies as a vet minimum contract, the NFLPA pays $160K of the contract. This also saves the team with $160K of cap space. The contract cannot have a signing bonus in excess of $40,000 and must be for the league salary minimum for that players experience. The Lions usually pay the $40K signing bonus to veterans that they sign this early in free agency. If this is the case, Owens' current year cap cost would be $485,000.
According to ESPN.com and the local newspapers, Michael Gaines agreed to a 4 year, $10M contract with $3M guaranteed. The NFLPA's website has his base salaries as $800K for 2008, $1.6M for 2009, $2.1M for 2010 and $2M for 2011. The $3M that is guaranteed is likely the signing bonus that the Lions gave Gaines. The other $500K that makes up the $10M contract is likely either a roster bonus due in 2010 or two $250K roster bonuses due in each of 2009 and 2010. Either way, Gaines' current year cap cost would be $1.5M.
Estimated cap space $7.15M under