How much cap space can the Detroit Lions create via contract restructures?

Lions GM Brad Holmes speaks to the media on Tuesday, Jan.11, 2022, in Allen Park.Lions
Lions GM Brad Holmes speaks to the media on Tuesday, Jan.11, 2022, in Allen Park.Lions /

Teams can create extra cap space via contract restructures, but how much space could the Detroit Lions get in 2022 by doing so?

As it sits right now, the Detroit Lions are in solid shape in terms of projected salary cap space. But there are ways to create more, via cuts and contract restructures. The latter often “kicks the can” down the road for salary cap implications over the rest of a player’s contract, so it can be a slippery slope to trade current space for potential future heartache.

Over The Cap has made a list of how much cap space each NFL team can create this offseason by doing simple or maximum contract restructures. A simple restructure is defined as converting payments into prorated signing bonuses within the confines of the remainder of a contract. Toward the end of the 2021 season, to create room to reinforce a depleted roster, the Lions did this with guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

A maximum restructure involves extending a contract or adding void years to further spread out the prorated signing bonus implications.

How much cap space can the Detroit Lions clear via contract restructures?

Via Over The Cap’s chart. the Lions can create a shade over $53 million in 2022 cap space via simple restructures. The biggest fish there are Jared Goff ($16.74 million in cap space that could be created), Taylor Decker ($10.47 million) and Trey Flowers ($8.25 million). Contract restructures for Goff and Flowers are unlikely. The Lions restructured Goff’s contract after acquiring him from the Rams last offseason to marry themselves to him through 2022, so they aren’t inclined to do so again. Flowers is far more likely to be cut this offseason than have his contract restructured.

They are an incredibly narrow scenario, and teams won’t go to the absolute furthest limits by doing them on a bunch of players. But via Over The Cap, the Lions could create $74.52 million in 2022 cap space via maximum restructures this offseason.

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