John Cominsky’s contract terms speaks volumes about the Lions

If there were ever a poster child for a player wanting to return to a team, John Cominsky would be that player and he signed a team-friendly deal to remain in Detroit.

On Jan. 10, Detroit Lions defensive end John Cominsky took to Instagram and drastically compared his exit meetings over the previous two seasons. Following the 2021-22 season with the Atlanta Falcons, he commented, “can I please get released?” “Can you please bring me back?” a monumental shift would occur just a couple of months following his 2022-23 season with the Lions.

Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell have made it apparent they are about creating a culture in Detroit. There is a system in place that has gone so viral in the organization that players and coaches want to stay.

“I WANT TO STAY IN DETROIT,” Cominsky added at the end of his post, asking fans to tag the Lions official Instagram page to ensure it didn’t fall on deaf ears.

When free agency opened up, it was not even a question about where he wanted to play in 2023. “I love the energy there. I love playing for Dan Campbell. You’re not just head-butting another player before the game in Detroit. The coaches are in on that, too,” Cominsky told Zac Jackson of The Athletic.

On Tuesday, the Lions and Cominsky agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million deal. The assumption was it would be a team-friendly deal. When the contract terms were revealed Thursday morning, indeed it was.

Via Spotrac, Cominsky has a total of $3.5 million in total guarantees. He got a $2.4 million signing bonus, with cap hits of $2.3 million (2023) and $6.2 million (2024).

A total guarantee of only $3.5 million for both seasons and a cap hit of $2.3 million 2023 allowed the Lions to retain a player who became an instant fit and force along the defensive line when he arrived last season.

In 2024, if for some reason they want to, the Lions can part ways with Cominsky and only retain $1.2 million (prorated signing bonus) in dead money while clearing $5 million in cap space.

So while Cominsky wanted to return to the Lions, and the feeling was clearly mutual, it’s a one-year very team-friendly deal. And if nothing else, Cominsky taking the deal is a huge reflection of the new Lions’ culture.