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Notes: Detroit Lions salary cap is top 5 in long-term health

According to this analysis, the Lions are sitting pretty.

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NFL: MAR 01 Scouting Combline Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the number in the win column begins to grow, it turns out the numbers in the checkbook aren’t too shabby either.

In a three-year salary cap evaluation, the Detroit Lions ranked fifth in the league based on draft capital and available cap space. Pro Football Focus’s Brad Spielberger broke it down into five categories — the article provides much more detail but this is the gist:

Top 51 Veteran Valuation - total valuation of all players on each club’s top 51, without the 2023 draft picks. The Lions ranked 22nd here.

Active Draft Capital - rookie contract players, a category that aims to place value on players who haven’t even played a snap yet. Detroit came in seventh.

2023-25 Cap Space - Based on’s figures, they used a projected salary cap of $256 million in 2024 and $282 million in 2025. Lions ranked sixth.

Total Prorated Money - Think signing bonuses here. When a team pays a prorated bonus over a few years, these are sunk costs on the salary cap. If a player is no longer on the roster but the team is still paying out the bonus, this becomes what’s called dead cap. Detroit came in 10th here.

2023 Free Agent Valuation - This is the contract year for a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent — most often used to predict what they’ll earn in free agency. The Lions were ranked 11th in this category.

Again, check the article for longer explanations of these categories. At the end of the day, the Lions come in at fifth overall in the league.

“Detroit still ranks in the top 10 in 2023-25 cap space and the bottom 10 in total prorated money, with not many major internal extensions pending, hoping to build a sustainable contender for years to come,” he writes.

Yet another sign the Lions are heading in the right direction both on and off the field.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • More joining the Lions hype train by the day.

  • If it were to happen right now, what would an expansion draft look like? Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay creates his own team and you’ll see a Lions receiver on the roster.

  •’s Tim Twentyman has a look at some interesting numbers and statistics for the Lions 2023 draft class of eight players and for some of the undrafted rookies:

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