After the Jeff Okudah trade, here’s an update on the Detroit Lions 2023 salary cap space.
The Detroit Lions were done with cornerback Jeff Okudah, and on Tuesday they traded him to the Atlanta Falcons for a fifth-round pick in the draft later this month.
The financial impact was clearly not a driving force for the trade for the Lions, but Okudah was going to have a $10.6 million cap hit for this year if he had stayed around. Ticketed for a backup role based on what was done in free agency, let alone the idea the Lions could draft a cornerback in an early round, that was going to be a lot to pay him. And the ship had sailed on the team picking up his $11.5 million fifth-year option for 2024.
It was best for all parties to part ways. Now Lions fans can watch what Okudah does in Atlanta, with dread he’ll become what he was drafted to be.
Updated Detroit Lions salary cap space after the Jeff Okudah deal
The Lions will take on just under $5.5 million in dead money by trading Okudah, via his prorated signing bonus. But his guaranteed salary just shy of $5.2 million goes with him to the Falcons, and that’s what the Lions clear for cap space.
According to Over The Cap, the Lions now have $25,888,047 in salary cap space after the Okudah trade. That is the third-highest total in the league. Their dead money total for 2023 now sits at $15,742,314, but that dead money hit simply to unload Okudah is a price they were willing to pay.
Of course the incoming draft class will take up some of what the Lions have for cap space, with there now being a little more room for any further signings they might still want to make. They will carry some cap space into the season as well.
The Lions were in good salary cap position before unloading Okudah, so the extra $5 million-ish isn’t a dramatic needle mover. But more is surely better than less in this case, and the Lions got a draft pick for a player they were slowly pushing off the roster.