Remaining cap space

According to Eric Schlitt over at, this is where the Lions cap space is. He estimated what the cap hits would be for Desmond Trufant, Danny Shelton, and Jayron Kearse, and including Slay’s departure. He says:

At this stage, the Lions have roughly $32.2 million in salary-cap space.

While that number is the actual salary cap space, there are other factors teams take into consideration, like anticipated rookie money and keeping an in-season cushion for spending throughout the year.

The Lions estimated rookie pool is estimated to cost just over $12.7 million, but because of the NFL’s top-51 rule, only about $11.1 million actually counts against this season’s cap at this time.

That brings the workable salary cap availability to about $22.1 million.

Different general managers allow varying levels of funds for in-season moves. Lions general manager Bob Quinn has kept between $7 and $17 million in previous seasons. For this exercise, I am allowing $10 million in cushion.

That leaves the Lions with just over $12.1 million in available salary.

$12.1 million may not seem like a lot but when you look at the numbers below and see how frontloaded contracts create more room — and keep in mind I am being conservative with a few numbers — there is room to sign more players in this free agency period.

IOW, without the Slay trade, the Lions would have been done signing FAs, except for the guys at or close to the minimum salary. They gotta sign a punter, I know that. And I think they need an RB, another DT, and an RG. Oh, and another CB. The good news is that they’ve got what, 9 picks? Maybe 10 or 11 if they trade down? I can see them drafting a starting CB with their 1st pick, maybe a DT with their 2nd, and an RB with their 3rd. Still leaves the RG, plus a WR and whatever else they want. Maybe even that punter.


Thanks for the post, in Mexico and haven’t been on line for several days. Like everyone else I have my own opinions on who they have signed but in the end I was really wondering where this left us cap wise. Also wondering about where this leaves us with Golladay, can we really not extend him at this point?

As a matter of fact, maybe the Lions will use some of that cap space they saved by trading Slay to extend Golladay. Kinda depends on how much money he wants vs how much the Lions are willing to pay. Clearly, they ain’t going to overpay people unless the situation is dire. Plus, they got other guys to extend or let go next year too.

Just heard on the radio that a theory is perhaps they are gearing to trade Stafford for picks and take the cap hit now. Opening up cap space to move on from him and start a true rebuild for the first time ever, isn’t the worst idea ever. I just don’t think BQ is smart enough to think outside the box.

If true, then why sign anyone.

Couple reasons. First, I believe you have to spend a certain amount, like a cap floor. You can’t just put 53 guys at league minimum on the field.

Secondly, they are signing guys to a couple year deals, some of which we can get out of after 1. That is actually a sign of a rebuild.

Also, we let Slay, Kennard and Glasgow walk away. All of them got 3-4 year deals with pretty big money. All of those things, plus our signings almost point to the fact that we don’t want to be tied to anyone long term. Again, this would be something I would be on board with, if it’s in fact what BQ is doing. But, with his track record, I can’t give him the benefit of the doubt.

Yeah those shorter terms coincide with Stafford’s contract length…infer what you will


I think they want to putting a winning team on the field for 2020, first and foremost. Keep their jobs, right?

But it’s difficult to get a vet with any real standing in the league to come in for one year, so you can keep them short, just not like one-year prove-it type deals.

But if they have any brains and foresight, they can both put guys who will work in their system (and happily enough) for 1-3 years while they draft and bring along their successors.

You know, like have an actual football program happening in Allen Park.

This is what I hope their master plan is on defense, anyway. Offense is much closer, only need one starter (OG) and some depth wherever they can find it.

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Don’t take the cheese.
Those signings are 100% SOP here. There are 1 and 2-year players throughout the roster every year.

Also, the way the salary cap works, it’s average over a # of years. Just like Miami or Indy could enter a season with over 100 mil in available cap, so could the Lions if they wanted.

That’s what’s wrong with bone-headed theories by the “sharps” on radio. They don’t have to be accurate, they just have to be entertaining.

I resemble that remark! Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!

Hot seat time… We aren’t throwing in the towel…

That said, if we have just 1-2 wins before the trade deadline, then anything is possible. But they can’t be worrying about that when they’re trying to win games early on.

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Sportstrac has laid this out nicely and what they figure is the Lions have 30 mil to spend now. That’s after the rookie pool money. But if you look at only the top 51 they actually have 42 mil to spend.

If this is correct (which it usually is) than the Lions have plenty to play with.

He has nothing for Trufant, Shelton or Kearse. At least 14M-16M in players not on his books, plus 12M for rookie/in season transactions . . . down to at least 14M-16M


I’d like it as a long term thing. But Quintricia need to win now. I’m not buying it. It’s Stafford’s team for one more year.

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