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A closer look at the Lions' salary cap in 2018, 2019

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Our series on the Detroit Lions' salary cap comes to an end with a closer look at 2018 and 2019.

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It's time to wrap up our series on the Detroit Lions' salary cap. To do this, let's take a look at the Lions' salary cap situation for 2018 and 2019:

2018


Player 2018 cap hit
Player Savings if cut
WR Calvin Johnson $17,000,000
WR Calvin Johnson $17,000,000
WR Golden Tate $8,600,000
WR Golden Tate $7,000,000
-- Dead money $0
-- Dead money $0

Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate are the only two players under contract for 2018, so the Lions have only $25.6 million committed to the cap that year. Johnson is set to have a $17 million cap hit, whereas Tate is set to count $8.6 million against the cap in his final season under contract with the Lions.

2019

Player 2019 cap hit

Player Savings if cut
WR Calvin Johnson $18,250,000
WR Calvin Johnson $18,250,000
-- Dead money $0
-- Dead money $0

2019 is the final year of Johnson's contract. He will turn 34 that year, and he is set to make $18.25 million. The Lions could save that exact amount by cutting him, and I'll be honest, it's tough to imagine him playing on that contract five years from now. I'm not saying that there's no chance he will still be with the Lions by the time 2019 rolls around, but I can't imagine a 34-year-old Megatron will be making more than $18 million. At the very least, a pay cut seems likely if Johnson is going to remain with the Lions at that point in his career.

Then again, it's tough to predict what will happen that far into the future considering 2019 is such a long way away. The fact that the Lions only have one player under contract that year shows just how far away it really is. A lot could change over the course of the next five years for the Lions and the NFL in general, and it'll be interesting to see how things play out from a salary cap standpoint.

(Once again, special thanks to the Free Press, Spotrac, Over the Cap and the NFLPA. I couldn't have assembled these numbers without the great resources provided by those four sites.)

Previously: General overview, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017