Roster and Cap Situation Post Draft and UDFA

Obviously my estimates for who gets cut and what not and the defensive back field is very fluid.

Still 7 spots available


Cap Space
Top 51 Current - $26M
Top 51 After signing rookies - $24M
To start the season with 53 man and PS - $17.5M
When budgeting for in-season moves ($7M) - $10.5


I think they keep Branch at Nickle They will rotate few players back to Safety if we don’t add more. We just add a UDFA who is big an fast listed as a DB Loren Strickland 5’10 200 pounds runs 40 in 4.49 Will be interesting where they try him. Brandon Joseph Lions staff will know about him now he played for N Dame an before his last year he was graded high an his game really took a bad turn an he was a UDFA after being high looking pick. Now Lions kept him all season an we don’t know he may have put his game back together if he did he will be very good #3. Safety


This is not accounting for the extra cap money we should eventually get back from Sutton, correct.

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Yep, I don’t think we are going to get anything until next year, but we should get it eventually.


Any idea why Branden Joseph is still sticking around? He has great ball skills but is allergic to tackling. Ive never seen a safety make it in the league who is scared to tackle. The season before he transfered to Notre Dame he had like 6 ints. But then he was below average at ND. He went undrafted for a good reason.

I see him as the very antithesis of a Dan Campbell player on the field. Maybe he is a great teammate or something. But having to teach a safety to be physical seems silly. Maybe they thought they could run the CB to Safety conversation program on him to make him tough.

I just dont see him growing a pair.

This is likely his make it or break it camp.
If he was a turd, he’d have been flushed.


QB - Goff, Hooker (2/2)
RB - Montgomery, Gibbs, Reynolds, Vaki (4/4)
WR - St Brown, J Williams, Peoples-Jones, Raymond, ??? (4/5)
TE - LaPorta, Mitchell, Wright (3/3)
OL - Decker, Glasgow, Ragnow, Zeitler, Sewell, Sorsdal, Manu, Mahogany (8/8)
DT - McNeill, Reader, Onwuzurike, Martin, Wingo (5/5)
DE - Hutchinson, Davenport, Cominsky, Paschal, Houston, ??? (5/6)
LB - Anzalone, Campbell, Barnes, Rodriguez, Reeves- Maybin, ??? (5/6)
CB - Davis, Arnold, Rakestraw, Moseley, Robertson (5/5)
NB - Branch, ??? (1/2)
S - Joseph, Melifonwu, ???, ??? (2/4)
ST - Fox, Daly, ??? (2/3)

Total: 46/53

Bubble - Knight, Green, I Williams, Zylstra, Skipper, Awosika, Betts, Gilmore, Dorsey, Vildor, Badgley (11)


  • I expect Brad to add two or three more vets that have a good chance of making the roster before camp
  • He definitely needs to add a safety or two, and with the cap space that’s available one of the high caliber safetys isn’t out of the question
  • There looks to be a path to a roster spot for Betts as the 6th pass rusher in the rotation, at the moment all he needs beat out are the UDFAs
  • With Rodriguez likely to fill the second specialist ST LB spot, there’s a floating roster spot that I have down for LB but could go to any position group
  • After clearing out the Okwaras, Harrises and one of the Reynolds, it’s annoying that Brad signed another Williams who appears to have a reasonable shot at a roster spot in terms of his guaranteed money and the vacancy we have for a WR5. Is having just one player per last name too much to ask?
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From what i understand it will be after june1 regardless. But it only voids his 2024 base salary not his signing bonus.

So 2.18m for 2024 and 6.54m for 2025 left after the void.

I think Skipper and Awosika are locks for the OL depending on the FA additions.

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This regime only tends to carry 8 OL, there’s no point in carrying more since OL typically doesn’t rotate in games.

Skipper has never made the initial 53 man roster, he’s always been a PS promotion after injury to someone else, and Awosika has a similar profile. I don’t think either of them put up great tape in the very few snaps they got playing one of the 5 OL positions last year, so I very much doubt they would give up on Sorsdal or risk putting Manu or Mahogany on the PS for either of these guys.


June 1 has to do with Sutton being a June 1 release. Right now Sutton is technically counting as one spot on our 90 man roster, on June 1, he will be removed. So would his base, but since his base is guaranteed, it’ll be counted as dead cap.

At some point we should/will recoup all of the guaranteed base and potentially recoup a portion of the signing bonus. I think it’ll be next offseason when the NFL Management council reconciles year end discrepancies, but it could be later this year.

So we will get the money back

But it won’t help us on the cap at all ?

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When we get it back, yes. Until a determination is made, he’s dead to us. :slight_smile:


How? We will get a discount next year then??

When he signed his contract, he got his $10.9M signing bonus, plus his base salaries of $1.1M (2023) and $10.5M (2024) were guaranteed. Since we cut him without paying his 2025 base salary, that $10.5M will be considered dead cap, as it was guaranteed and it is technically still owed to him.

At some point the court or an arbitrator will rule on whether the Lions were within their rights to void his guarantees (can’t see how they wouldn’t vote in favor of the Lions) and at that point, the NFL management council will adjust the $10.5M on the salary cap (probably next year, but could happen this year). They may also rule on whether we can recoup some of the signing bonus money, which at that point, we would get a credit on the cap ONLY if Sutton actually writes a check to the Lions.

Damn, $22.5 million for 1 season of Sutton

For the Lions, then….

He has a 1.1 hit against the cap in 2024 that can’t be adjusted. Then we have 50% of the 2025 hit, or another 5.25 mil accelerating into 2024 on June 1st.

Assuming we don’t go after bonuses….
The 2025 50% (5.25m) disappears.
The Lions receive a 2025 cap credit for their 2024 6.35m salary cap charges.

Chai-mai? Yes-no?

Doesn’t seem like a lot of cap to get a Goff deal done?

The $1.1M was his 2023 base salary (I said 2024, my bad) and that counted in 2023. The 2024 base salary of $10.5M will all count toward 2024 as dead cap unless a court or arbitrator rule in our favor AND the NFL management council makes the adjustment this year (rather than waiting until 02/25 to do a year end adjustment). I think it’ll be 02/25 when adjustment is made, but I don’t know.

Sutton’s $10.9M signing bonus is recognized as follows, because he was designated as a June 1 release:
$2,180,000 - 2023 cap charge
$2,180,000 - 2024 cap charge (part of his dead cap hit)
$6,540,000 - 2025 cap charge (part of his dead cap hit)

His 2025 base salary of $10.5M is currently counting on the Lions active roster, on June 1 it will move to dead cap and free up a roster spot