As players are signed in free agency, contract details of bigger name players are revealed fairly quickly, but getting details on backups or players who will be fighting for roster spots typically takes longer to come by.
The Detroit Lions haven’t been overly aggressive in free agency (check out our tracker for all the moves) but most of the new contracts were known except for three players, QB Tim Boyle, WR/KR Kalif Raymond, and WR Damion Ratley, whose deals just came to light.
Let’s break those contracts down.
Base salary: $2.25M ($2M guaranteed)
Game bonuses: $250,000 (LTBE)
2021 cap hit: $2.5M
Boyle is the leading candidate to be Jared Goff’s backup in 2021 and his $2M in guarantees make him a strong candidate for the roster. Because he was active in all 16 games last season with the Green Bay Packers, his game bonuses are considered Likely To Be Earned (LTBE) and will count against the 2021 salary cap.
Base salary: $990,000 ($112,500 guaranteed)
Signing bonus: $137,000
2021 cap hit: $987,500 (veteran discount)
Raymond has three accrued seasons in the NFL and therefore qualifies for a veteran minimum contract that comes with a team-friendly discount. Raymond looks to be the Lions leading return man and most experienced slot receiver at the moment, but with only $250,000 in guarantees (guaranteed salary + signing bonus) he is still likely entering training camp competing for a spot.
Base salary: $920,000
No bonuses or guarantees
2021 cap hit: $920,000
With only two accrued seasons, Ratley gets a lower base minimum salary than Raymond, and with no other guaranteed money anywhere on the contract, he looks like a fringe roster player who will be on the roster bubble entering training camp.
At this time, none of these contracts would count towards the Lions' potential compensatory picks for the 2022 draft.