Though the Detroit Lions still have plenty of cap space, many believed veteran safety Tavon Wilson was still a candidate to be released for some cap savings. Had Detroit released Wilson, they were lined up to have an additional $2.9 million in cap space, and after the Lions signed free agent safety Andrew Adams, it seemed like his position on the team may be expendable.
However, the two sides agreed to a different option. Per ESPN’s Field Yates, Wilson has a agreed to take a pay cut from a $2.15 million base salary in 2019 to just $1 million.
Lions S Tavon Wilson has taken a pay cut from $2.15M to $1M, per source. Following the first wave of free agency, it’s not uncommon to see veterans players approached about their deals with rosters updated.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 21, 2019
The move will drop Wilson’s cap hit by over $1 million. Not only do the Lions benefit from a decreased cap hit, but they keep around Wilson—a seven-year veteran who is well-versed in Matt Patricia’s defense and also provides a good amount of special teams skills. Now that the Lions decided to move on from Glover Quin this offseason, Wilson should maintain some depth and leadership in the secondary.
It’s a savvy move from the Lions from a business standpoint, and it’s also promising that Wilson was willing to take a pay cut just to stick around with Detroit. There’s no guarantee that he’ll make the team after training camp, but the Lions just made it a little more affordable to keep him.