Updated Detroit Lions cap space after DJ Reader, Marcus Davenport contracts

With some new contracts officially on the books, here's an updated look at how much cap space the Detroit Lions have.
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The contracts the Detroit Lions have inked in free agency are progressively hitting their books, with the deals for DJ Reader and Marcus Davenport the new ones that have been filed according to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News.

Reader's deal was originally reported as two years and worth up to $27.25 million. It's more like two years, $21-$22 million, with the rest available in undisclosed potential incentives. He will have cap numbers of $5.3 and $12.2 million the next two years (via Over The Cap), with a $6.215 million signing bonus prorated over five years (three void years) for cap purposes.

Reader has roster bonuses of $2.1 (2024) and $4 million (2025), with per game roster bonuses up to $1.28 million ($75,00 per game; 2024) and $510,000 ($30,000 per game; 2025). Since he played 14 games for the Bengals, the "likely to be earned" aspect means $1.05 million counts toward his cap hit for this year. If Reader is unable to recover from the torn quad tendon this season and perform as expected, the Lions can clear $7.27 million in cap space in 2025 ($4.97 million in dead money).

Davenport's one-year deal was reported to have a $6.5 million base and worth up to $10.5 million. A void year has been tacked in to spread out his $4.595 million signing bonus. He'll carry a cap number of $3.42 million in 2024, and just shy of $2.3 million in 2025 when his contract will void. He has a $3 million roster bonus this year, a $150,000 workout bonus this year and $850,000 in total per game bonus ($50,000 per game). Since he played four games for the Vikings, the "likely to be earned" marker is low in terms of the cap hit related to that per game roster bonus.

The contract restructuring for newly-acquired cornerback Carlton Davis should not be forgotten here.

Updated Detroit Lions' 2024 cap space after new free agent contracts

The big note here is the Lions' signing of guard Kevin Zeitler is not yet official as of Tuesday morning, thus his contract has not hit their balance sheet. So the equation will change a bit here, very soon. There's an initial report, unconfirmed by others thus far, that Zeitler's one-year deal has a base value of $6 million.

The contract structure will tell us what Zeitler's 2024 cap hit will be, but a void year to spread out whatever his signing bonus is should be expected.

With that in mind, and updated as much as it can be minus the details of Zeitler's deal, here is the Lions' updated salary cap space numbers via Over The Cap and Spotrac.

Over The Cap: $27,382,162 (10th-most in the league)
Spotrac: $27,741,905 (10th-most in the league)

So even when Zeitler's deal is added, the Lions will still likely have somewhere around $20 million in cap space, with a little less in practical cap space when accounting for signing the upcoming draft class.


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