After the Detroit Lions re-signed Alex Anzalone on Monday, fans have been clamoring for his contract details. The 2023 free agency period has seen a lot of money thrown at linebackers—arguably the biggest increase in funds for any position since last season—and fans wanted to know if general manager Brad Holmes made a good or bad deal.
On Friday, Anzalone’s contract details were released and we’re here to break them down.
Alex Anzalone — 3 years, $18.3 million, with $9 million guaranteed
(Details via Overthecap.com, charts created by Erik Schlitt)
In 2023, Anzalone will cost just $2.5M against the cap, and $2.4M of his guaranteed money is accounted for. In 2024, he gets a hefty bump in pay, up to $7.3M, and with $6.6M still remaining in guaranteed money, Anzalone will have a good shot of sticking on the roster because releasing him would not save much salary cap space. In 2025, the Lions will surely be reassessing Anzalone’s value because he will require a $7.3M salary cap hit, but will only have $2.4M remaining in guaranteed money.
If Anzalone continues to thrive as the Lions MIKE, then he’ll have a good shot of sticking it out through the entire contract. But if he struggles, 2025 represents an out for the Lions with a palatable cap hit.
- If Anzalone plays well, his contract will likely be: 3 years, $18.3 M
- If Anzalone struggles, his contract would likely be: 2 years, $12.2 M
One final note
Game bonuses fall under the LTBE/NLTBE (likely to be earned/not likely to be earned) bonus category—which we explained in more detail in Charles Harris’ contract breakdown—and because Anzalone played in every game in 2022, the entire $100,000 will count against the Lions cap in 2023. If Anzalone misses any games, the Lions would be credited $5,882 for every game missed, and the 2024 salary cap game bonus category would be adjusted by that amount.