Oct 2, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best (44) runs with the ball against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Why the Detroit Lions Can't Cut Jahvid Best

With the Detroit Lions creating some cap space by cutting Kyle Vanden Bosch and Stephen Peterman this week, it would be natural to wonder if the Lions might be wise to officially make Jahvid Best a former Lion. After all, the chances of him ever being cleared to return to the field appear dim and the Lions have admitted that it was a mistake to count on him for the 2012 season – a mistake they won’t make in 2013.

Ah, but the salary cap is often a mysterious and fickle beast where a player’s salary rarely matches their hit against a team’s cap and penalties can make releasing a player problematic. Sometimes the system works to a team’s advantage and sometimes it works against it. In the case of Jahvid Best, his cap number is working very much against the Detroit Lions.

Dave Birkett has done a good job of laying out the Lions’ cap situation on the Detroit Free Press web site. Jahvid Best is set to count $1,976,500 against the salary cap in 2013 but carries a “dead money” value of $2,201,000. In other words, releasing Jahvid Best would actually hurt the Lions’ salary cap situation rather than improve it.

It’s just another level of frustration in an already disappointing saga.

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