Taking a closer look at the salary cap implications of Lions releasing Cameron Sutton

It's a bit complicated, and somewhat to be determined, but here's a look at the financial implications for the Lions from releasing Cameron Sutton.

With the news of a warrant out for his arrest in Florida on Wednesday morning, the Detroit Lions released cornerback Cameron Sutton on Thursday. It was not a surprising move, though the relative swiftness the Lions acted with was a little bit shocking.

Apart from the more important human elements attached to Sutton's situation, his release of course has implications for the Lions. Yes, there's a spot open on the roster and the cornerback depth chart now. But part of the reason he was going to get another shot after struggling last season was the lack of ability to comfortably part ways salary cap-wise. The allegation Sutton has against him obviously changed that equation.

And thus, the Lions will willing take whatever salary cap implications that will come.

Taking a look at the financial implications attached to releasing Cameron Sutton

All of Sutton's $10.5 million base salary for 2024 recently became fully guaranteed. Then there's the remainder of his signing bonus proration, $2.18 million in each of the next four years (his contract had two void years, to spread out the signing bonus proration). That totals up to $19.22 million in guaranteed money.

ESPN's Field Yates was first to report the Lions will designate Sutton as post-June 1 cut, which allows them to spread out any dead money hit over two years. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the Lions voided the $10.5 million in base salary for 2024 upon releasing him, rooted in contract language that allowed it, and Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac further confirmed the team's intention to void that $10.5 million. It is subject to league approval, and if he is found to have violated the NFL's code of conduct that $10.5 million will be credited back to the Lions.

Ginnitti broke it down further in his confirmation of the Lions' intent to void Sutton's $10.5 million in guaranteed salary for this year. The Lions will carry at $12.68 million cap hit for this year until June, then it would be reduced by that voided $10.5 million.

The $6.54 million in dead money, the remainder of his prorated signing bonus after 2024, will hit the Lions' balance sheet entirely in 2025 no matter what.

The Lions could also try to recoup the $8.72 million in signing bonus money they have already paid Sutton, but that process could take years to be resolved. Sutton's representation will surely fight it.

In terms of 2024 cap space the Lions now have, as of Friday morning Spotrac lists it atjust over $27 million and Over The Cap has it at just shy of $26.7 million.


dark. Next. 5 biggest winners for Detroit Lions early in 2024 free agency. 5 biggest winners for Detroit Lions early in 2024 free agency