It appears former Lions safety C.J. Moore will keep all of his signing bonus
Suspended for a year then cut, it appears former Detroit Lions safety C.J. Moore will keep his entire signing bonus.
Seeing his value as a core special teamer for them, the Detroit Lions re-signed safety C.J. Moore to a two-year deal back in March. Of course we know what has happened since, with Moore one of four Lions players suspended for violating the NFL’s gambling policy on Friday.
Moore and wide receiver Quintez Cephus were immediately cut by the Lions after the suspension news.
It’s been easy and obvious to lean into the financial ramifications of a six-game suspension for Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams. But the other guys are losing money too, and Moore is losing a year of a career that might not be all that long anyway as a backup/special teams-type.
Moore got a $1.4 million signing bonus has part of the $3 million fully guaranteed in his $4.5 million deal. It’s fair to assume the Lions would like to recoup some if not all of that $1.4 million, half of which was apparently paid to him just days ago with the rest scheduled to be paid in September.
Looks like former Lions’ safety C.J. Moore will keep all of his signing bonus
The mechanics of how releasing Moore will hit the Lions’ salary cap for this year in lieu of his suspension is to be determined. It would seem, at a glance, that since Moore’s gambling predated his signing his contract he could lose the whole $1.4 million signing bonus.
But Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk obtained a copy of Moore’s contract. Without boring you with all the finer language, it comes down to this.
What Moore did is not covered by anything listed in the signing bonus addendum of his contract, and thus it’s not something that would make him “subject to forfeiture.” Failure to report due to the suspension, which isn’t spelled out in the contract language Florio shared, could have been a breach to bring Moore forfeiting the $1.4 million.
Per Florio, the Collective Bargaining Agreement also does not cover forfeiture of bonus money related to suspensions for violating the gambling policy.
So the Lions will be paying the all of the $1.4 million signing bonus to Moore, while not having to pay him the other $1.6 million in guarantees he was due between this year and 2024.
Changes are now surely coming to the standard player contract and the CBA, to fully cover bonus money ramifications for players who violate the gambling policy