We know it’s a one-year deal with an incentive-based ceiling, but the full details of Marvin Jones contract with the Detroit Lions are now out.
There’s a certain level of excitement that Marvin Jones is back with the Detroit Lions. It’s well-founded, and certainly mutual among player, team and fans.
Jones’ deal with the Lions was reported as a one-year, $3 million deal worth up to $5 million with incentives. But as usual, there’s a bit more than meets the surface eye with the mechanics of the contract.
Via Over The Cap, Jones has a $1.4 million base salary for 2023 with a $1.6 million signing bonus to land at the $3 million total. Of course that signing bonus is prorated, with a void year tacked on in 2024, counting for $800,000 against the cap in 2023 and 2024.
So Jones’ cap number for 2023 is the product of some easy math–$2.2 million. The $800,000 in prorated signing bonus hits as dead money for the Lions in 2024.
Marvin Jones signed a team-friendly deal to come back to the Lions
Speaking to the media when his signing was made official, Jones talked about the Lions as a unique landing spot for him as he surveyed his free agent options.
"From the start it was evident that they wanted me here, but it took me to try to see, try to see what I was going to do, stay on the West Coast or whatever,” Jones said. “That’s how free agency is, but I don’t know. I think when somebody wants you here, you automatically have that feeling, that sense of, ‘Oh, maybe I belong here, I’ve always belonged here,’ or whatever.”"
The incentives that could land Jones an extra $2 million have not been revealed. But they are most likely in the “not likely to be earned” category. Meaning if he hits any or all of them, they would then be a cap hit for the Lions in 2024 when offseason adjustments are made.
Before the precise details of Jones’ contract were out, on Mar. 31, Warren Sharp of Sharp Football Analysis listed out a ranking of NFL team spending on the wide receiver position in 2023 up to that point. The Lions were 25th, at $17.7 million. Having guys on rookie contracts and cheaper veteran deals helps that, though the time to pay Amon-Ra St. Brown is coming.
As much as a one-year deal that maxes out at $5 million can be even a little more team-friendly, Jones’ deal is that for the Lions.