The Detroit Lions have added eight free agents and traded for another player, how many more will they be able to acquire for the 2020 season?
I’ve been asked for my estimates on what future player acquisition moves the Detroit Lions might make yet this year. Since I don’t have a fully-functional crystal ball all I can do is try to make some educated guesses. The Lions have traded for one player and signed in free agency eight others though not all of the moves are official quite yet, such as the recent signing of cornerback Tony McRae.
The Lions have also re-signed some of their own players, most recently safety-linebacker Miles Killebrew. Detroit also tendered others such as exclusive rights free agents in cornerbacks Dee Virgin and Mike Ford. All-in-all the Lions have kept or acquired a total of 74 players so far.
NFL teams are allowed a roster of 90 players at this point in time, and the Lions usually keep open spots for their draft picks, of which they currently have nine. My math says they’ll acquire another seven players before the draft gets here unless their number of draft picks change.
There is also the matter of the NFL salary cap. According to Over The Cap the Lions currently have an estimated $43.6 million available. But they are missing a few transactions. Yet to be added is the player from the New England Patriots the Lions traded for, a free safety by the name of Duron Harmon.
The Lions gave up a fifth-round pick for Harmon but also received a seventh-round pick from the Patriots. The Lions receive his current contract as well, which shows Harmon with a $3.5 million salary and a roster bonus of $750,000 along with a workout bonus of $250,000 for a total cap charge of $4.5 million.
Other player contracts missing include cornerback Desmond Trufant and his $7,281,250 cap charge, strong safety Jayron Kearse and his $2.75 million cap charge, cornerback McRae and his estimated $1.5 million cap charge, and finally the cap charge for the signing of Killebrew which has not yet been released. My estimate for Killebrew is for now going to be the same as Kearse at $2.75 million.
When those five contracts all get recorded for the Lions it will move five lesser contracts out of the top 51 freeing up cap space that those contracts were taking up … my math says this adds up to $3,377,000 in total. So when I combine the figure from Over The Cap and the cap charges I recorded for each addition along with my guesses, the Lions have in the general area of $29 million in salary-cap space to work with ($28,946,999 to be exact).
Now the Lions will set aside roughly $6 million to sign their draft picks and keep at least $10 to $12 million to work with during the season so they could possibly spend $11 to $13 million more in salary cap before the draft re-signing their own players or signing new free agents. One of which is hopefully going to be a veteran punter, but I digress.
In summary, I believe the Detroit Lions will acquire up to seven more players spending less than $13 million in salary cap space to do so, less if they were to have some current players who are on the last year of their contracts sign extensions. Which players though is anybody’s guess. Who do you believe the Lions should add to their roster? Tell us in the comment section below.