Lions restructure Carlton Davis' contract, free up extra 2024 cap space

A week after he was acquired, the Lions and Carlton Davis have agreed to a contract restructuring.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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When the Detroit Lions acquired cornerback Carlton Davis from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a notable piece of the equation was that he is entering the final year of his contract. A contract extension isn't necessarily an urgent matter, in the scope of other extensions that are prominent on the agenda this offseason (Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown), but a move to reduce his $14.35 million cap hit for 2024 might be something to consider.

To the end, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap has reported the Lions and Davis have agreed to a restructured deal to free up $4.5 million in cap space for this year.

More specifically, $6 million of his original $14 million base salary has been made into a signing bonus, prorated over the next four years for cap purposes.

Here's a look at Davis' old and new contract structures.

Detroit Lions restructure Carlton Davis' contract

Old contract:
Base salary: $14 million
Up to $500,000 in per game roster bonuses ($352,941 "likely to earned", based on 12 games played last season)
2024 cap hit: $14.35 million

New contract:
Base salary: $8 million
Up to $500,000 in per game roster bonuses
$1.5 million signing bonus proration
2024 cap hit: $9.85 million

It's worth noting, at this point anyway, this is not a contract extension for Davis. Three void years have been tacked on, with a $4.5 million dead money hit for 2025 if he leaves as a free agent as his deal will automatically void. But this is a broader potential sign contract extension talks are happening already, and Davis said he is open to an extension during his introductory press conference.

Spotrac highlighted a few other things with financial implications for the Lions that have now hit their books. None are surprising, even if Cameron Sutton has been wanted gone by some fans. $3 million of David Montgomery's 2024 base salary was already guaranteed, and now the entire $5.25 million is. The roster bonuses for Goff and Decker were already well-known.

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