The Detroit Lions won’t have quite as much cap room as previously believed, because one of their players just earned themselves a significant raise.
The NFL announced on Thursday that $140.88 million dollars in “Performance-Based Pay” will be paid out to players this year. Performance-Based Pay is given to players based on their playing time and their salaries. In short, if you play a lot, but aren’t on a very big contract, you’re likely to earn this annual bonus.
Lions starting center Graham Glasgow certainly fits this description. Still on his rookie contract—which has featured annual salaries of just $450,000, $558,500 and $648,500 in his first three years—Glasgow has been as close to an iron man as possible. He played every single offensive snap in 2017 and missed just a single one in 2018. Even in his rookie year, he played over 68 percent of the team’s snaps.
As a result, Glasgow has earned a Performance-Based Pay bonus of $432,084—the 13th highest bonus in the entire NFL this year. That’s nearly the same amount as his entire rookie paycheck.
And while that alone won’t cost the Lions any additional cap space, that wasn’t the only pay bump Glasgow is getting in 2019. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Glasgow’s performance has earned him a salary bump to $2.025 million. Prior to the salary escalator, Glasgow was only set to earn a salary of $735,500. In other words, he’ll count an additional $1,289,500 against the cap.
That’s a price the Lions will gladly pay for Glasgow, as no one has been more reliable on Detroit’s offensive line over the past two years.
“He is consistent,” Matt Patricia said of Graham back in November. “Every single week he’s in there battling. Graham’s a tough guy, he’s a smart guy, he’s a grind-it-out guy. Every single week he battles away in there.”