Restructuring Jared Goff’s contract would open up a lot of 2022 cap space, but should the Detroit Lions do it?
No matter what, Jared Goff is going to be a Detroit Lion in 2022. What his place on the depth chart is by the end of the season is a bit more of an open question, and as it is right now the team can move on relatively unscathed salary cap-wise a year from now.
Goff finished his first season as a Lion strongly, with a 107.1 passer rating over his final five starts. An incoming draft class of quarterbacks that isn’t highly regarded invites the idea the Lions won’t take a signal caller at all, and wait until 2023–when they’ll have an extra first-round pick again–to do so. Goff could, in theory with better structure around him next season, establish himself as the quarterback in Detroit for the next chunk of years.
Should the Lions restructure Jared Goff’s contract?
SI.com’s John Maakaron has spotlighted a scenario for the Lions to restructure Goff’s contract this offseason. Via Over The Cap, they can create $16.74 million in cap space for this year by restructuring Goff’s deal (dropping his 2022 cap number to less than $14.4 million). It would also kick the cap implications can down the road, which the Lions already did when they restructured Goff’s contract upon acquiring him from the Rams last offseason.
Via a chart in his post, Maakaron went all the way in with a hypothetical scenario to restructure Goff. His 2022 base salary would drop from $10.65 million to $1 million, with future cap numbers of $39 (2023) and $40 million (2024) created then. As is right now, Goff’s cap hits are $30.65 million and $31.65 million for 2023 and 2024 respectively.
Restructuring Goff’s deal made a lot of sense to do in a cap-reduced 2021 for the NFL, even as it bumped future-year cap hits north of $30 million. But to further marry themselves to a quarterback who is not the long-term answer with another restructure this offseason makes no sense for the Lions.
It’s a fine thought, to create a nice chunk of 2022 cap space. But the Lions have to maintain a viable path to move on from Goff in 2023, and restructuring his contract again this offseason will not allow for that.