Since July 23rd, the Lions have had several transactions.
- Signed: Leon Joe (07/24/08), Jordon Dizon (07/25/08), Teddy Lehman (07/26/08), Eric Fowler (07/27/08), Eddie Johnson (07/30/08), Andy McCollum (07/31/08) and Nick Jones (07/31/08).
- Claimed off Waivers: Taye Biddle (07/29/08)
- Released: Jon Dunn (07/23/08), Alfred Fincher (07/26/08), Paul Ernster (07/29/08), Eric Fowler (07/30/08), Matt Butler (07/31/08) and Chris Patrick (07/31/08).
- Place on Injured Reserve: Reggie Ball (07/27/08)
- Extended: Leigh Bodden (07/25/08)
Jordon Dizon signed his contract on July 25th. Based on slotting, Dizon should make slightly less than Matt Forte's reported $3.7M contract and slightly more than the contract that Dewayne Jarrett (last years #45 overall pick) made. Based on the above and factoring in the way that Tom Lewand usually structures his contracts, I'd guesstimate Dizon's contract to be a four year, $3.6M contract that included a $1.4M signing bonus and a $495,000 one-time bonus with base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $385,000 (2009), $470,000 (2010), $555,000 (2011). Based on the above information and guesstimates, Dizon's 2008 Salary Cap Cost would be $645,000.
- $350,000 SB Amortization ($1.4M over 4 years)
- $295,000 Base Salary
Teddy Lehman and Leon Joe both have four accrued seasons in the NFL and both qualify for a minimum salary of $605,000. Neither player likely received a signing bonus and therefore their contracts would qualify for a veteran minimum treatment with the NFLPA subsidizing $160,000 of their contracts. Both Contracts would count $445,000 against the cap and neither contract would be part of the Top 51 player contracts and therefore neither contract would have an immediate effect on the Lions salary cap status.
- $605,000 Base Salary
- $(160,000) Subsidized by the NFLPA
Eric Fowler has zero accrued seasons in the NFL and qualifies for a minimum salary of $295,000. He signed his contract on 07/27/08 and was released on 07/30/08. His signing and subsequent release had no effect on the Lions salary cap status.
Eddie Johnson has one accrued season in the NFL and qualifies for a minimum salary of $370,000. His contract would not figure into the Lions Top 51 calculation.
Andy McCollum is a 13 year veteran and qualifies for a minimum salary of $830,000, assuming that his contract qualifies for vet minimum treatment, the NLFPA will pay $385,000 of his contract. McCollum's salary cap cost will be $445,000 and will currently not count against the Lion's salary cap.
Nick Jones hasn't accrued any seasons in the NFL and qualifies for a minimum contract of $295,000. His contract would not count against the Lions salary cap.
Taye Biddle has one accrued seasons in the NFL and was claimed off waivers. His contract includes base salaries of $370,000 (2008) and $460,000 (2009). His salary also will not effect the Lions current salary cap status.
Jon Dunn, Matt Butler and Chris Patrick were all scheduled to earn a base salary of $295,000. Their release has no effect on the Lions salary cap status.
Alfred Fincher was scheduled to earn a base salary of $520,000 and for Salary Cap purposes, was included in the calculation of the Lions Top 51 Contracts. His release will save the Lions about $65,000 against the salary cap.
Paul Ernster was scheduled to earn a base salary of $445,000 and for salary cap purposes, was not included in the calculation of the Lions Top 51 contracts. His release has no effect on the Lions salary cap status.
Reggie Ball was scheduled to earn $295,000 for the year. His contract likely included a split salary adjustment, which is basically an injury provision that allows for a lower base salary should the player end up on injured reserve. Ball has no accrued seasons in the NFL and his split salary adjustment will likely reduce his base pay for the season from $295,000 to $200,000. His contract is not part of the Lions' top 51 player contracts and at the current time, does not effect the Lions salary cap status.
Leigh Bodden signed an extension on July 25th, however, his salaries for 2010-2013 have not been updated in the NFLPA salary database. I'm not sure why his base salaries haven't been updated, it could be that the Lions organization have dragged their feet on submitting the contract to the NFL Management Council and consequently, it hasn't been forwarded to the NFLPA or the NFL Management Council is still reviewing the contract. If we assume that Bodden received the reported $2M signing bonus and has either an option bonus or a roster bonus (I've seen it reported both ways) due next March in the amount of $8.6M and the contract for 2008 and 2009 remains unchanged, Bodden would count $3,033,333 against the salary cap.
- $1,700,000 Base Salary
- $333,333 Renegotiation Bonus ($2M over six years)
- $500,000 Roster Bonus
- $500,000 LTBE bonus based on Interceptions and Playing Time
Updated Gosder Cherilus signed his contract on July 24th. Based on the information that I had at the time, I reported that he would count $1.4M against the cap. After obtaining additional information, I'd guesstimate his contract to include no signing bonus, a roster bonus of $985,000 payable at the start of training camp in 2008, a $1.85M one-time bonus based on 35% playing time and minimal team performance, an option bonus due in March of 2009 in the amount of $6,025,000 and base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $495,000 (2009), $745,000 (2010), $610,000 (2011) and $810,000 (2012). He's also likely due various workout and roster bonuses starting in 2010. Based on the above information and guesstimates, Cherilus would count $1,280,000 against the current years salary cap.
- $295,000 Base Salary
- $985,000 Roster Bonus
Based on the above information I'd estimate that the Lions are about $2.25M under the cap.