The Detroit Lions are already doing some prep work for the 2020 offseason. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Lions have restructured Matthew Stafford’s contract in a way that should create a considerable amount of cap room for the upcoming months.
Per Yates, the Lions converted Stafford’s $6 million roster bonus in 2020 into a signing bonus. What this basically means is that the extra $6 million in cap hit from next year will be prorated over the rest of Stafford’s contract, including this year.
Yates is reporting that the move will save Detroit $4.8 million in cap room, but that figure could be a little misleading. His report seems to suggest that the Lions may have added an extra voidable year on his contract, meaning that $6 million cap hit will be spread out as $1.2 million per year over five seasons (2019 plus four years into the future—although his current contract is only for three more seasons).
However, if that’s the case, that means Stafford will cost the Lions an extra $1.2 million this season. Since that money won’t be carried over into 2020 any more, the reduction of cap hit in the roster bonus is really only $3.6 million ($6 million minus the 2019 and 2020 prorated bonuses ($2.4 million)). Of course, the savings now means that Stafford’s cap hit in following years will carry an additional $1.2 million per year.
The Lions were already estimated to have $40 million in cap space next year. The extra cap room could potentially help the Lions in re-signing guys like A’Shawn Robinson, Graham Glasgow or Tavon Wilson. Detroit will also have to consider potential early extensions for players like Kenny Golladay and Darius Slay.