How much cap space are we going to really have?

This can be for @DeadStroke or anyone else who’s good with the financials, but assuming we cut Brockers and Vaitai, and keep Romeo, how much spending money are we going to have?

Then what if we cut Romeo too?

I know we need cap space for the rookies and to take into the season but I’m not great at figuring all of that out.

I don’t think we’d go wild spending in free agency but we need veteran help in the secondary really badly IMO.

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I’m no @DeadStroke
But in round abouts:
Our cap space is currently $27Mill and some change, we will have a carry over of $2.5Mill.
Cut Brockers and we have $40.Mill.
We need $10.5Mill for rookies plus another $15 mill to fill the roster.
Leaves us with apx. $14Mill to sign our own back and maybe 1 or 2 mid level FA’s.


You mean like if we didn’t have a bonehead that traded Slay and Diggs away?

36 Players per OTC 27,700,000
Minus 1 Plyr Brockers 10,000,000
Minus 1 Plyr Vaitai 6,500,000
8 Players Draft (9,500,000)
11 players avg (11,000,000)
PS and In Season (10,000,000)

Romeo would save another $7.5M if cut

Edit: or what @checkmate260 said above


The $2.5M carryover is already included in the $27M. However, we usually have a positive year end adjustment of a few million dollars . . . usually.

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A couple of questions…

A. I’m probably overthinking this, but what does this mean?

Is that like minimum contract level guys to get to 53?

B. Isn’t the cap going to go up this offseason? And if so, we won’t know until after the season right?

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We have 36 players signed for 2023, need to count 51 for cap number. Have to pay for the players to get us to the 51. 15 players at $1mill each is $15Mill we have to account for. Keep in mind a few of our draft picks will fill the 15 slots.

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For players that haven’t had an accrued season, their 2023 salary will be $750K (guys that were on PS for the entire 2022 season). One accrued season is $870K, two accrued seasons is $940K, three is $1,010,000, four through six is $1,080,000 and 7 or more is $1,165,000 . . . I ball park it at $1M each.

Jason at OTC has budgeted at $225M, others (like Joel Corry has confirmed that amount as an estimate that teams are using).

With the exception of the cuts, these are all estimates.

Edit: a player accrues a season with six games on the active/inactive/IR/PUP lists.


36 plus 8 draft pick, less two players cut (Brockers/Vaitai) gets us to 42 players . . . so 11 more players to start the season at 53.


I can’t see C Harris, Cabinda, Brockers or Big V here in 23’.

I assume this gets to about 46-47M? Also 32 guys right? Now factor 8 from the draft with that 11M draft pool cost?

So back to 36MM but with 40 bodies in tow….

This is where the line between signing our own guys and “filling out the roster” confuses me a touch.

Let’s say we sign 5 league minimum deals to guys like Matt Nelson at 1M per…. Brock Wright? Etc.

So we’d have 45 guys signed and roughly 31M left….that would leave us needing 6 or 8?- Dean? Don’t just the top 51 count?

Either way…. Let’s assume we bring back Swaggy, Commish, Buggs, Board, and maybe Chark? 3, 4, 2, 2, 6 are my projected year one cap hits…. Not including what we already have factored for Chark in dead cap. That’s about 17M

We’d have 13M left for 3 outside free agents, but i bet that we kick 5M of Goffs money around if we don’t draft a QB high.

Jamel Dean
Vet DT
Vet LB

Harris probably not, Cabinda probably

I’d have it at almost $41M with 40 bodies

We have 36 right now, we’ll sign another 10-15 future contracts in January and we’ll issue ERFA tenders to 7-8 players, by the start of UFA, we’ll have 53-60 players under contract.

Top 51 counts just in the offseason.

Sure, it can be. Going about it the way you are, everything is going to change as we sign the future contracts and ERFA’s and other players.

If you account for the 53 (or 51 players) now, you just subtract them as you sign a player. So I said we’d be $13.7M under, say we sign Swaggy for $3M, we’d be $11.7M under (he’d be replacing a $1M guy), sign Commish, we’d be $8.7M under (he’d replace a $1M guy).

Not a chance, they are projecting franchising him in 2025 or using his 2024 cap hit for negotiating an extension. No way they increase his 2024 cap hit.

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Chark is really the biggest X factor. If he’s re-signed to a longer term deal at a similar annual salary to what he just got on the open market, that changes things slightly. If they elect to let him go, and replace that spot with a rookie (feeling confident St Brown, Jamo, Reynolds, Raymond and rookie is good enough in this hypothetical)… that gives them a little more flexibility in my eyes.

With that said - the Lions have the ability to get spend a little more if they want too. It’s just accounting, it’s not like they “can’t” sign more than one or two “mid level FAs” (depend on your definition of mid level right?). It’s more a matter of how aggressive do they want to get? My guess is similar to OP above though - look to improve a little without taking on too much long term commitment.

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Question you want let big V go we going to play with one less OLman missing a starting ROG. They cost money.
Its easy to say sign whoever an what if they will not sign? Or what if they want more than you want to pay. Are you using a rookie as starting ROG ?

Deaths numbers are correct but you can add say 3 top end FA an likely not add for 2023 more than or 8 or 12 million to the cap for 2023.

You asked him questions an he told you answers he never said we couldn’t sign better its just at what cost an how far you push the cap hit down the road.

Example of what I mean we signed Romeo for 3 year $37 million contract with the Lions. $25 million of Okwara’s contract is guaranteed with $20 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Thats the main deal how they move money is different for every deal

ts Look at Cap hit year he signed **$4,500,000 now after that lots of contract wording but shows that deals can be done even with close to cap.

Frank Ragnow signed a four year contract with the Detroit Lions worth $54 million on May 6, 2021. Ragnow received $42 million in guarantees, $27.9 million of which is fully guaranteed at signing. Rangow received a $6 million signing bonus and will receive an $18 million option bonus in 2022.

rst years cap hit **$4,070,954 just another example


If you cut Big V you take a dead cap of close to 6 million an save about same . Now you need to add cost of his replacement. If he is healthy Lions are better off reworking his deal. Remember the number your using now for cap includes him so if you add a year an reduce his base maybe two years you can reduce his cap hit.

He should be making as a starter an his ability a proven ability in 5 or 6 mil range. S if health add few years an reduce his base to bonus.

No dead money an have a starting OG for around 5 mill a season. If he is healthy works better than 6 mill dead cap to save 6 mil an not have a ROG as good an to get close to as good will cost 4 or 5 mil.

Look at everything not just what cap space you make look at dead cap an the cost of same quality replacement.

Also the teams know or have good idea what will happen in 2024 when rumors say cap will increase in a huge number. What you have is sometimes better to keep an work out new deal that pay close to same an not know what your getting for sure. I am sure doctors will be all over his health an other than team a doctors we have know idea what the back operation involved.

Fans here over react without all the facts I have maintained keep him if he is healthy an rework his deal. If not heathy then let him go , I don’t know his medical shape nor do any who keep worrying about his cap hit an have no idea who replaces him.


I said this in another thread but what would a restructure of Goff’s final two years of his contract look like and how much cap space would it free up?

I think both sides would be open to it, would guarantee Goff the starting gig going into 2023 and possibly 2024 and also put guaranteed money in his pocket.

Think he has 20 million plus due in salary for the next two years. If we converted half of it into bonus then how much cap space would that free up?

Yep, and I’m a strong pass. We should be in line for a compensatory pick based on his new contract that even when off set by our FA signings should land us in the 5th or 6th round. There simply isn’t much out there with re to FA WR’s, so he’s going to make some money.

Projected cap space: $27m (36 players) (11th most in the NFL)
Rookie pool cost: ~$10m
Cost of filling the roster with vet min contracts: ~$10m
Effective cap space: ~$7m (13th most in the NFL)

Possible cap casualties:

  • Goff ($20.5m cap saving to trade or cut)
  • Brockers ($10m)
  • R Okwara ($7.5m)
  • Vaitai ($6m)
  • C Harris ($4m)

Possible contract restructures / extensions:

  • Goff ($30m cap hit in 2023, 2 years remaining)
  • Decker ($19.3m, 2 years)
  • Ragnow ($16.5m, 4 years)
  • Walker ($11.3m, 2 years)

Brockers is surely gone so that takes us up to $17m. I think Charles Harris is also likely gone so make that $21m.

I think we can all agree that unless we can somehow pick up Mahomes or Allen on waivers, Goff isn’t being moved on. And as @DeadStroke says it’s unlikely his contract is reworked as it will just load up his cap hit and potential dead cap hit in 2024. At the moment making the decision to extend or move on from Goff in 2024 suits everyone.

Romeo Okwara and Vaitai are tough to call, I think the staff loves both of them but the nature of their injuries make them questionable to be brought back. Romeo has missed most of two seasons and the Achilles is very important for D-linemen, these last few games of this season feels like a good opportunity to evaluate whether he still has the same spring, burst and strength as he had pre-injury. Vaitai having a back injury is also a big worry for an O-lineman.

I don’t think they do anything with Decker’s contract, his cap hit is the same again in 2024 and then he has a void year costing $4m in 2025. Moving more money into those years makes little sense, and it’s also too early to think about an extension due to his age and the fact that Sewell will be up for renewal in 2024 and will command LT money, and paying both of them will not be cheap.

Walker is another one with pretty much the same cap hit in 2024 as 2023, and with him coming off a serious injury it makes no sense to push any of his money into 2024 when they might not want him around.

The one contract that is reworkable is Ragnow’s. You could take $9m of salary and spread it over 2024-2026 without making his cap number in those years too crazy ($16m, $17m, 19m). If Holmes wants to create space I think this is how he’ll do it.

So to answer the question, somewhere between $20m and $40m.


Cap is rumored to increase by as much as 12m next year

I’ve always defended Vaitai but a guy that big with a back injury? No thanks. Save the $6.5m.


Vatai loves it here and his teammates and coaches love having him. Obviously health is the determining factor but I think they void 2024 and cut his salary in half for 2023. Obviously Vatai has to agree to that, but I think that’s what happens.

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Yeah. If he’d cut his salary down then I’d take the shot ok the back. Romeo probably should take a haircut as well.

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