According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Anderson’s deal is only for about $1.5 million over one season:
The #Lions gave veteran RB CJ Anderson a 1-year deal worth nearly $1.5M, source said. He got a $200K signing bonus.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 6, 2019
We still don’t know the exact breakdown of Anderson’s deal, so it’s hard to say what exactly his cap hit will be for the Lions, but that is certainly a relatively cheap deal for a backup running back.
Add in the fact that Detroit tried to sign Malcolm Brown to a two-year, $3.25 million deal, and the Lions are actually spending less on a per-year average with Anderson and arguably have the better player.
It’s clear the Lions weren’t looking to spend a lot on a backup running back, which likely explains why they didn’t sign Mark Ingram (three years, $15 million) or Tevin Coleman (two years, $8.5 million).
Anderson joins Kerryon Johnson ($1.5 million cap hit) and Zach Zenner ($1.05 million) as two very reasonably-priced running backs. In fact, Theo Riddick is very likely to have a higher cap hit in 2019 ($4.6 million) than the other three backs combined.
Once we get a full breakdown of Anderson’s contract, we’ll update this post.
UPDATE 1: It looks like Anderson can earn a little more based on some incentives:
The max CJ Anderson can earn with incentives is $3M. https://t.co/jrtBz7BmOa— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 6, 2019
UPDATE 2: Dave Birkett has the full contract breakdown here. Anderson’s cap hit is $1.44 million for 2019.