Last week, safety Glover Quin restructured his contract with the Detroit Lions. It was a simple restructure, so he simply had part of his base salary converted into a bonus for the 2014 season. This lowered his cap number for this year and raised his future cap numbers.
According to NFLPA records, Quin now has a base salary of $730,000 for 2014. This is down from $3.5 million, meaning he had $2.77 million of his base salary converted into a bonus that will be spread out over the remainder of his contract. As reported by Dave Birkett, Quin's cap number is now around $2.5 million for 2014, giving the Lions an extra $2 million or so in cap space to work with this year.
Although this restructure has increased each of Quin's future cap hits by $692,500, the Lions now have a bigger cushion when it comes to the salary cap this year:
Little correction on #Lions available cap space: About $4.3 million. The previous number was top 51 still.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 2, 2014
On the surface, it might seem like the Lions have positioned themselves to bring in extra help at a position like cornerback, but the reality is they simply wanted to have extra cap space in case they need it later this season. Most players who are free agents right now aren't going to be signed for anything more than the veteran's minimum anyway, and the Lions just wanted to make sure they have enough to cover potential injuries and things like that since all of their players now count against the cap.
At the end of the season, if it turns out that the Lions didn't actually need that extra cap space, they can simply carry it over to next year. So although this move was made to increase their cap space this year, the Lions could actually end up giving themselves more cap space next year when all is said and done.