Updated Detroit Lions 2024 cap space after Cameron Sutton post-June 1 release

The Detroit Lions weren't hurting for cap space this year, but with Cameron Sutton's post-June 1 release now official they have noticeably more.
Ryan Kang/GettyImages

After a rough first season in Detroit, many Lions' fans wanted cornerback Cameron Sutton gone. His contract said the team stuck with him for at least one more year though, barring something surprising or unforeseen.

Well, something surprising and unforeseen happened. After he had apparently been on the run for nearly two weeks, Hillsborough County (Florida) took to Twitter to post an arrest warrant for Sutton in mid-March. We later found out, from Lions' president Rod Wood, that Sutton was at the team facility when the news of the arrest warrant hit social media. Nearly a week after that, and 11 days after the arrest warrant was publicized, he turned himself in.

To better navigate the salary cap implications of releasing Sutton, the Lions designated him as a post-June 1 cut. That allowed them to spread out a dead money hit over two years. With the presumption his guaranteed salary for this year will be voided because of his legal issues, they were also lined up to get some cap relief when the move to cut him hit their books.

With the flip of the calendar to June, the time for Sutton's release to impact the Lions' balance sheet is right now.

Updated Lions' 2024 cap space with Cameron Sutton post-June 1 release official

The Lions will retain $2.18 million in dead money for this year by releasing Sutton, due to signing bonus proration. They will carry another $6.54 million in dead money in 2025. But thanks to the void of that guaranteed salary, subject to official league approval (which should be a formality), the Lions will gain $10.5 million in new cap space for 2024.

Via Over The Cap, the Lions now have $40,345,495 in cap space (third-most in the league). It's hard to have any real plans to spend that money at this point in the offseason, but they can roll a lot of it over to the future with other big contracts looming on their radar.

Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap, in his look at post-June 1 cuts around the league, outlined the questionable status around this year's cap implications of Sutton's release.

"I put an asterisk on this one because I am not 100% certain of the outcome here. Sutton had a salary guarantee for 2024 which was likely voided when he had a warrant issued for his arrest, but these can sometimes be grey areas that wind up in some kind of grievance hearing. If no guarantee remains then Sutton will count for $2.18 million on the cap this year and the Lions gain $10.5 million. If the guarantee sticks he will count for $12.68 million this year and the Lions gain nothing. In both cases he will count $6.54 million in 2025."

Sutton could fight having his 2024 salary voided (and presumably unpaid) in a grievance hearing. But the Lions shouldn't have any trouble winning that, based on his legal issues that drove the move to let him go. So that extra $10.5 million in cap space for his year is all but surely coming, even if it won't mean anything in terms adding to this year's roster now that we're in June.


5 Detroit Lions cut candidates going into the summer. dark. Next. 5 Detroit Lions cut candidates going into the summer