The Lions have made a couple of moves in the 2nd half of May, but their roster remains maxed out at 80 players. Recently signed players have about one more month to impress the coaching staff as nine players will be released to free up roster spots to sign the recently drafted rookies. Recently drafted rookies receive a roster exemption until they sign a contract.
The Lions signed Greg Lee (WR) and UDFA Shemiah Legrande (DT) to one year contracts for the league minimum ($295,000). They also released Clark Harris and Isreal Route. They had both originally signed contracts on the 1st of January. The above transactions have a minimal effect on the Lions salary cap (less than $10,000).
Kalimba Edwards - When Edwards was released by the Lions in March, he was designated as a June 1st release. On Monday, June 2nd, the Lions will reap the rewards of that designation when they get an additional $4M of cap space for the current year with $2M of dead cap in 2009. The freed up cap space will be used to sign the bulk of the rookie draft picks.
$4M will not be enough to sign all of the rookie draft picks. Look for the Lions to make at least one significant move to free up cap space before training camp, either in the form of a significant cut, an extension for a player like Jason Hanson, Roy Williams or Dominic Raiola or a contract restructure of Cory Redding. One way or another the Lions will need to free up some cap space before they sign all of their rookie draft picks.
As of Monday, June 2nd, the Lions are about $3.9M under the salary cap.