Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence was given a pay cut. Now it’s a little clearer why they may have done so. The team announced later that day that they have traded Spence to the Miami Dolphins for an undisclosed 2019 draft pick. Obviously, the pay cut was made to make Spence a little more cap friendly to his new team, therefore more tradable.
Justin Rogers of the Detroit News is reporting that the Lions are getting just a seventh-rounder in return:
A Miami Herald source says the Dolphins are giving up a seventh-rounder for Spence.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) May 3, 2018
UPDATE: ESPN’s Field Yates is reporting that the seventh-round pick is conditional.
Spence leaves Detroit just a year after signing a three-year, $9 million contract. In his only season with the Lions, Spence racked up 39 total tackles, 3.0 sacks and one forced fumble in 16 games played (11 starts).
The Lions are making drastic changes on the defensive side of the ball ever since hiring Matt Patricia as their head coach. Earlier in the year, the Lions added Sylvester Williams in free agency, and followed it up by drafting defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand in the fourth round. They were also reportedly close to signing interior defender Ricky Jean Francois in free agency. We’ll see if Spence’s trade will result in the team closing the deal with the veteran lineman.
The Lions open up $2.25 million cap space by moving Spence, but will incur $1.5 million in dead cap, per Spotrac.
Spence posted a classy exit to Detroit via his Twitter page:
I want to thank the Detroit Lions for the opportunity they gave me this past season to be a Lion. Also want to thank my coaches,teammates and the fans it was a great experience. We all know NFL is a business. With that being said happy to be a Miami Dolphin...!!! Gods plan!!!— Akeem spence (@AkeemSpence) May 3, 2018