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Joe Dahl’s 2-year extension is a bargain for Detroit Lions

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The Lions reserve offensive linemen got a team-friendly deal.

Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

A couple weeks ago, the Detroit Lions quietly handed offensive lineman Joe Dahl a two-year extension. Of all the Lions players that are entering the final year of their contract, Dahl was one that got lost in the media shuffle. But the versatile backup was the first to be handed an extension this offseason.

Once given the extension, many wondered what this meant about his status in the race for the starting left guard job. Both he and Kenny Wiggins had been splitting reps with the first-team offense in training camp, and, depending on the money, this could’ve been a sign that Dahl was the leading candidate for the job.

But ESPN’s Michael Rothstein finally offered the details of Dahl’s deal on Wednesday, and they certainly aren’t figures for a starting offensive lineman. Here are the details, per Rothstein.

2019:

  • Base salary: $720,000 (fully guaranteed)
  • Signing bonus: $750,000
  • Cap hit: $1.03 million (per Spotrac)

2020:

  • Base salary: $1.1 million—guaranteed for injury—becomes fully guaranteed fifth day of league year
  • Roster bonus: $100,000
  • Workout bonus: $50,000
  • Cap hit: $1.5 million

2021:

  • Base salary: $1.4 million
  • Roster bonus: $150,000
  • Workout bonus: $50,000
  • Cap hit: $1.85 million

Given Dahl’s ability to back up every single position on the offensive line—particularly the interior—that seems like a bargain. And if Dahl wins out the starting job ahead of Wiggins, it’s an absolute steal.

Soon the Lions will be facing some more expensive potential extensions on the offensive line. Starting right guard Graham Glasgow is entering the final year of his contract, while left tackle Taylor Decker only has his fifth year option remaining in 2020 and will likely be seeking an extension by this time next year. Having Dahl on an affordable contract should help squeeze those players into the cap, should the Lions want to.