If the Detroit Lions want to add a veteran defensive end, they will have to look at someone other than Dwight Freeney. That's because Freeney is now a member of the San Diego Chargers. He agreed to a two-year deal with the Chargers on Saturday morning, giving San Diego a replacement for the injured Melvin Ingram.
According to Pro Football Talk, Freeney's two-year deal is worth a base value of $8.75 million. He will get $5.25 million in 2013 by way of his base salary, a signing bonus and a roster bonus, and he is set to make $3.5 million next year. His contract actually is worth as much as $13.35 million when you factor in all of the incentives in the deal.
Based on the Lions' current cap situation, I don't think this deal would have been affordable for them. I applaud the Chargers for including incentives in the deal, but $13.35 million over two years is probably a bit much for what the Lions could have realistically offered. I suppose they could have drawn it up in a way that got it under the cap for this year, but even then, it might have been tough.
In any case, the Lions' best bet for a veteran defensive end now is John Abraham, who is still a free agent. If they decide not to add anybody at the position, the Lions will likely go into the season with Ziggy Ansah, Devin Taylor, Jason Jones, Willie Young and Ronnell Lewis at defensive end.