Lions restructuring Jamie Collins’ contract, ‘significantly’ reducing cap hit

Pride of Detroit

The Detroit Lions continue to try and create cap room for the 2021, as NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo is reporting the team will restructure the contract of linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. Though Garafolo doesn’t give details of the restructure, he does note that the Lions are adding voidable years to help stretch that cap hit across multiple years and it will result in Collins’ cap hit of $11.3 million to be “lowered significantly.”

Here’s how a restructure would theoretically look.

2021:

  • $8.8M base salary
  • $2.3M in prorated signing bonus (from 2020)
  • $200,000 workout bonus

CAP HIT: $11.3M

2022:

  • $9.8M base salary
  • $2.3M in prorated signing bonus (from 2020)
  • $200,000 workout bonus

CAP HIT: $12.3M

Theoretically, let’s say the restructure involves converting $7 million of Collins’ base salary into a new signing bonus. Meanwhile, let’s say the Lions add two voided years. Suddenly, his contract looks like this.

NOTE: THIS IS A THEORETICAL RESTRUCTURE. THE DETAILS ARE NOT OUT YET.

2021:

  • $1.8M base salary
  • $2.3M in prorated signing bonus (from 2020), $1.75M in prorated signing bonus (from 2021)
  • $200,000 workout bonus

CAP HIT: $6.05M (down $5.25M)

2022:

  • $9.8M base salary
  • $2.3M in prorated signing bonus (from 2020), $1.75M in prorated signing bonus (from 2021)
  • $200,000 workout bonus

CAP HIT: $14.05M (up $1.75M)

2023 (voided year):

  • $1.75M in dead money (prorated signing bonus from 2021)

CAP HIT: $1.75M

2024 (voided year):

  • $1.75M in dead money (prorated signing bonus from 2021)

CAP HIT: $1.75M

In other words, the Lions save nearly $5.5 million this year, but end up just having to expend that exact same figure over the following three seasons. It’s important to note this isn’t an extension. Collins’ contract will automatically void after the next two seasons, freeing him up to sign anywhere else.

The restructure does have the downside of making Collins more difficult to cut after the 2021 season, if the Lions desire to move on. But with inconsequential dead money in the (theoretical) voided years, this was an easy move to create some immediate cap space.

Look for the Lions to find other candidates to restructure, including Jared Goff, Trey Flowers and Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

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