New Detroit Lions receiver KhaDarel Hodge has only been on the team for a couple of days but has already agreed to take a pay cut. According to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates, Hodge has cut his salary by over $1 million to help create some cap space for the Lions.
When the Lions were awarded Hodge, they inherited his contract from the Cleveland Browns. That contract was a restricted free agency tender for one year, $2.133 million. None of that money was guaranteed. So to make the pay cut worth it for Hodge, the Lions “restructured” the contract by giving Hodge an $80,000 signing bonus while trimming that $2.133 million salary to just $920,000. Essentially, this cuts Hodge’s cap hit from $2.133 million (with no dead cap if cut) to $1 million ($80,000 in dead cap if cut).
So Hodge gets some guaranteed money immediately just in case it doesn’t work out in Detroit, while the Lions create some immediate cap space as they figure out if Hodge is right for their squad.
Hodge now enters an interesting positional competition in Detroit. The Lions currently have seven wide receivers on their 53-man roster, including the recently traded-for Trinity Benson. With Tyrell Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown, the only two receivers truly set in their starting positions, there’s a lot of playing time up for grabs for Hodge and a week’s worth of practice to figure it out before Week 1’s contest against the San Francisco 49ers.
On Thursday, Lions general manager Brad Holmes talked about what he liked from Hodge back during their mutual years with the Los Angeles Rams.
“He’s a guy that can play outside, he can play inside, he can run, he’s got length, he’s got speed, and he’s another body that when you get into the depth of the wide receiver room, he can contribute on special teams and he’s been a good special teams contributor,” Holmes said.