Report: Detroit Lions clear cap space by restructuring LB Jamie Collins’ contract

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
 
| Detroit Free Press

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First they did it with a roster cut, now comes a restructure.

The Detroit Lions continued the process of clearing salary cap space Friday, reportedly restructuring the contract of linebacker Jamie Collins.

Collins was set to make $8.8 million in base salary in 2021. He still will receive that money, but most of it will come in the form of a signing bonus, NFL Network reported.

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NFL teams frequently convert base salary to signing bonus as a mechanism to create cap space. A signing bonus is prorated over the length of a player’s contract for cap purposes, while base salary counts against the cap only in the year it is earned.

Though Collins has two years left on his contract, the Lions added voidable years to his deal to further lower his cap hit, NFL Network reported.

If not for the restructure, Collins would have counted $11.3 million against the Lions’ cap this fall, with $7 million of salary fully guaranteed.

On Thursday, the Lions reportedly informed cornerback Desmond Trufant he will be released before the start of the league year, a move that will create about $6 million in cap room.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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