clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lions 2018 salary cap update: Contract details, cap hits for Nevin Lawson, Don Muhlbach, Tavon Wilson

New, comments

A look at the Lions’ salary cap situation going into free agency.

Cleveland Browns v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Some details are trickling in for the Detroit Lions’ first re-signings. This should give us a better idea of what kind of money the Detroit Lions will have remaining as free agency begins at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at what we know so far.

(Note: These aren’t official numbers)

Nevin Lawson

We have two conflicting, but very similar reports on Lawson’s deal, which was originally labeled as a two-year, $10.2 million contract:

Let’s go with Birkett’s numbers. Here’s how they play out:

UPDATE: Birkett has more details on the contract here. The numbers below now reflect those details.


Base salary: $2.3 million
Signing bonus: $2.25 million ($1.125 proration per year)
Roster bonuses: $400,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Total cap hit: $3.925 million


Base salary: $2.4 million
Roster bonus: $1.25 million (due 3rd day of league year)
Signing bonus proration: $1.125 million
Roster bonuses: $400,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
Total cap hit: $6.15 million
Dead money: $1.125 million ($5.025 million cap savings if cut)

In other words, this is a glorified one-year deal for Lawson. If these numbers hold, the Lions could easily make Lawson a cap casualty next year, should Lawson’s play not return to 2016 levels.

Tavon Wilson

(originally reported as a two-year, $7 million deal)

The bonuses are a little fuzzy here, so let’s just go with Birkett’s simpler $750,000 in roster bonuses per year (it says per game, but he later clarified he meant per season).


Base salary: $1.5 million
Signing bonus (prorated): $875,000
Roster bonus: $750,000
Workout bonus: $50,000

Cap hit: $3.175 million


Base salary: $2.15 million
Signing bonus (prorated): $875,000
Roster bonus: $750,000
Workout bonus: $50,000

Cap hit: $3,825,000
Dead money: $875,000 ($2.95 million cap savings if cut)

Again, we see the Lions with an easy out here, but fairly low cap numbers for Lawson in both years anyways.

Don Muhlbach


Base salary: $1,015,000
Roster bonus (guaranteed): $45,000
In-season roster bonus: $45,000

Cap hit: $1,105,000 $720,000 (see below)

UPDATE: Muhlbach reportedly signed a minimum salary benefit deal, which is a CBA-approved deal that states veterans can earn more cash with a lower cap hit to the team. In other words, Muhlbach’s cap hit isn’t likely to be that big. In fact, if this chart is accurate, Muhlbach cap hit will only be $630,000 plus the two bonuses for a total of $720,000.

So put all three signings together and you get Lawson, Wilson and Muhlbach for a combined 2018 cap hit of $7,820,000. Subtract that from the ~$27 million in cap space the Lions entered free agency with, and the Lions have right around $19 million left.

Keep in mind, though, that the Lions have also reportedly signed Devon Kennard (three-year, $18.75 million), Christian Jones (two-year, $7.75 million) and Nick Bellore. We don’t know the salary cap ramifications for those deals yet, but suffice to say, the Lions are a little tight on money right now.