Report: Lions restructure Goff’s contract, create $15M in cap space for 2021

Pride of Detroit

As many expected, the Detroit Lions have reportedly restructured the contract of quarterback Jared Goff, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Per Yates, the Lions have converted $20 million of Goff’s $25.325 million base salary for the 2021 season into a signing bonus. This gives Goff that $20 million in pocked immediately, while spreading that $20 million of cap hit across the next four seasons.

So instead of a $25.235 million cap hit, Goff’s will only have a base salary of $5.65 million with only $5 million of that signing bonus counting against the cap. In other words, the Lions just cleared up $15 million in cap space. As our own Andrew Kato pointed out on Tuesday, this move was necessary for the Lions to make any more free agency moves and still be able to pay for their upcoming draft class.

Of course, there are long-term ramifications of this move now. The signing bonus is now spread over the next four seasons, adding $5 million to his cap hit for 2022, 2023, and 2024. Whereas Goff had no potential dead cap beyond 2022, now he has $10 million of dead cap in 2023 and $5 million in dead cap in 2024 if the Lions decide to part ways with him.

In other words, this locks up Goff with the Lions for at least the next two years, with just a $10 million cap hit in 2023 if they decide to release him that offseason.

Here’s a year-by-year breakdown of what his contract looks like now.

2021:

Base salary: $5.625 million
Prorated signing bonus: $5 million
Cap hit: $10.625 million

2022:

Base salary: $10.65 million
Prorated signing bonus: $5 million
Roster bonus: $15.5 million
Cap hit: $31.25M
Dead cap if cut: $30.5 million

2023:

Base salary: $20.65M
Prorated signing bonus: $5 million
Roster bonus: $5 million
Cap hit: $30.65
Dead cap if cut: $10 million

2024:

Base salary: $21.65M
Prorated signing bonus: $5 million
Roster bonus: $5 million
Cap hit: $31.65
Dead cap if cut: $5 million

To give you an idea of how much those cap hits compare to the rest of the league, here’s where Goff ranks among quarterbacks in cap hit per year.

2021: $10.625M — 17th
2022: $31.25M — 9th
2023: $30.65M — 7th
2024: $31.65 —4th (only five QBs signed through 2024)

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