The Lions have been busy over the last several days. First, I need to update a couple of previously reported cap costs for Keith Smith and Leigh Bodden. Then I'll break down the official signings of Travis Fisher, George Foster and Chuck Darby. Lastly, I'll address the cap implications from the release of Kevin Jones, Kalimba Edwards and Blaine Saipaia.
According to John Clayton of ESPN, Smith agreed to a 2 year $5M contract. His base salaries are $1M in 2008 and $2M in 2009. The other $2M of the contract can be either signing bonus and/or roster bonuses in 2008 or 2009. I'm going to assume that $1.75M is a signing bonus and the other $250K is a roster bonus due if he makes the opening day roster. Current year cap cost $2.125M.
The Browns extended Bodden's contract in December of 2005. He received bonuses of $1.5M in 2006 and $1.1M in 2007. Based on that and the fact that Jason Cole of Yahoo.com reported that the Lions as $4.4M under the cap on March 6th, I'm going to assume that he has a bonus due to him of $1.5M. That added with his base salary of $1.7M would put his current year cap cost at $3.2M.
According to profootballtalk.com, Fisher agreed to a 3 year $9M deal with $4.25M due in 2008. His base salaries are $1.75M in 2008, $1.75M in 2009 and $2.5M in 2010. I would assume that the other $2.5M of his 2008 compensation is his signing bonus, while the other $500K that makes up his $9M total contract is a roster bonus due in 2010. Under the above assumption, Fisher's current year cap cost would be $2.58M.
According to John Clayton of ESPN, Foster agreed to a 1 year $1.1M deal with a base salary of $800,000. The other $300,000 of Foster's contract is probably a signing bonus. Either way, his current year cap cost is $1.1M.
Darby agreed to a 3 year deal with the Lions. He's due base salaries of $730K in 2008, $745K in 2009 and $760K in 2010. Other financial terms were not disclosed. Based on what he's made in the past and his current age, I'd guess that his signing bonus was $3M. With the above assumptions, his current year cap cost would be $1.73M.
According to John Clayton of ESPN, Bell agreed to a 1 year $1.6M contract. The contract hasn't been officially signed and submitted to the NFL or the NFLPA, but irregardless of how much is base salary or bonus money, Bell's current year cap cost will be $1.6M.
In 2007, the Lions signed Saipaia to a 2 year contract with a $300,000 signing bonus. Saipaia was due to make $775,000 that the Lions will not now have to pay. As a result of Saipaia's release, he provides a current year cap savings of $775K.
Jones signed a rookie year contract that gave him a two-tiered signing bonus. The 2nd year bonus is an option bonus that alters the contract but allows the option bonus to be amortized over the life of the contract. He received a $1.2M signing bonus in 2004 and a $1.805M option bonus in 2005. During the 2007 season, Jones had reached an escalator in his contract that increased his 2008 base salary by $1.86M and was scheduled to make a base salary of $2.37M this year plus, according to John Clayton, a roster bonus of $142,500. As a result of his release, he gives the Lions a current year cap savings of $2.51M.
For a detailed breakdown of Edwards contract, check out my June 1st designation blog entry. Because of the immediate need for cap space, I doubt that Edwards was designated as a June 1st cut and he was therefore released outright. His current year cap savings is $1.9M.
Based on the above transactions, I have the Lions about $3.2M under the current year cap and expect almost the entire amount to be used up when Kalvin Pearson and Brian Kelly officially sign.