Just two hours before the Detroit Lions’ season kicks off some news dropped regarding Matthew Stafford and his contract with the team. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions quarterback restructured his contract, by converting his $7.8 million base salary this year into a signing bonus. What that does, in essence, is give Stafford the money right away, but spreads that $7.8 million in cap space across the four remaining years on his deal.
So why would the Lions and Stafford do that? Schefter explains:
“Here’s the thinking: the Lions get cap relief and Stafford gets the guarantee of that money in the event any games are cancelled due to COVID,” Schefter tweeted.
Of course, the next question becomes why are the Lions creating extra cap space? Per the public salary cap report, the Lions have over $25 million in free cap space for 2020, eighth most in the NFL. However, they have still not given Kenny Golladay a contract extension, and they may want as much cap space as possible to carry over to 2021, when the overall salary cap is expected to drop.