Over the past week, the Detroit Lions have begun the process of re-signing some of their own players who were set to become free agents. Last week, Detroit inked fullback Jason Cabinda to a two-year deal, and earlier this week linebacker Josh Woods signed a new contract. Both players were set to become restricted free agents, but the Lions avoided the danger of losing either to another team by agreeing to terms before they became available.
While the Lions did not announce the exact contract terms of either contract, the details have slowly leaked out to the public. So let’s take a closer look at each contract, as detailed by one of the best contract and salary cap sources out there, OverTheCap.
Jason Cabinda — Two years, $4.1 million
- Average per year total: $2.05 million (6th among FBs)
- $1 million signing bonus
- 2022 base salary guaranteed
- $100,000 roster bonus in 2023
- Unspecified $65,000 bonus in 2023
- $1.035 million base salary
- $500,000 prorated signing bonus
- $1,535,000 cap hit
- $1.9 million base salary
- $500,000 prorated signing bonus
- $165,000 in other bonuses
- $2,565,000 cap hit
- Only $500,000 in dead cap if cut before season— $2.065 million in savings
Note: Cabinda’s 2023 cap hit could change depending on how many games he plays in 2022. If he misses any games this upcoming season, his $100,000 won’t fully count against Detroit’s 2023 cap. Instead, it will represent a fraction of that number based on how many games he plays. So if he only plays in half the games (theoretically impossible on a 17-game schedule, but work with me here), only $50,000 of the $100,000 would hit the cap in 2023 as a projection of how much roster bonus is “likely to be earned.” You can learn more about likely to be earned bonuses here.
Cabinda received a pretty significant pay bump from last year when he played on a vet minimum $920,000 contract last year. While his salary is still at the vet minimum level, the $1 million signing bonus is immediate money in his pocket and more than he made all last year.
For the Lions, it’s really just a one-year investment in Cabinda with an option in 2023. His cap hit nearly doubles, but the Lions can recoup over $2 million in cap space if things don’t work out in 2022 and they need the extra cap space. That being said, his $2.565 million cap hit in 2023 is still well behind the likes of 49ers’ fullback Kyle Juszczyk ($6.6 million) and Vikings’ fullback C.J. Ham ($3.8 million). So the Lions wouldn’t be breaking the bank for Cabinda in 2023, and they seem to really like him.
Just saying, if a player like, say, Michigan State’s Connor Heyward grabs Detroit’s attention in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, Cabinda’s contact is not a hurdle towards making that decision.
Josh Woods — One year, $1.55 million
- $1.55 million average per year (60th among linebackers)
- $250,000 signing bonus
- $500,000 guaranteed salary
- $100,000 game roster bonus
- $1.2 million base salary
- $250,000 prorated bonus
- $100,000 roster bonus—$76,471 liked to be earned*
- $1,526,471 cap hit
*Woods played 13 games in 2021, so his roster bonus cap hit for 2022 (“likely to be earned”) represents Woods playing 13 of 17 games this upcoming season—or 13/17ths of the potential $100,000 total in roster bonuses. If Woods ends up playing more than 13 games, the extra cap hit will be added to 2023. If he plays fewer than 13 games, the Lions will be rewarded the extra cap space in 2023.
Like Cabinda, Woods got a pretty significant bump in pay after earning just an $850,000 salary in 2021. That being said, nothing is guaranteed for Woods to land on the roster come regular season. Detroit is only committed to $750,000 in guaranteed money—which turns into dead money if cut—meaning the Lions could clear $776,471 in cap space if they release him this year.
In other words, Woods is not guaranteed to be around in 2022, but if he continues to impress on special teams and shows flashes defensively, he’ll earn a pretty nice pay increase. Either way, he already has $250,000 in his pocket for his troubles.