The Detroit Lions have created some more cap space for 2022 with a restructure of Michael Brockers’ contract.
The Detroit Lions were up against the salary cap heading into the season, before they restructured left tackle Taylor Decker’s contract. On Tuesday they created a little more cap space, with ESPN’s Field Yates reporting the Lions have restructured the contract of defensive tackle Michael Brockers.
According to Yates, $4 million of Brockers’ $7 million 2022 base salary will be converted into a signing bonus. The Lions will gain $2 million in cap space for this year
Via Over The Cap, the Lions now have just shy of $4.5 million in cap space for this year, pending any further restructures. Spotrac would have them just shy of $4.9 million. Players returning from IR, the PUP list and the NFI list down the road will shift those numbers.
The impact of the Michael Brockers contract restructure
The Lions extended Brockers’ contract upon acquiring him from the Rams last offseason, for some reason that was proven flimsy by his poor play last season. That essentially married them to him for this year, with a much more palatable way to part ways in 2023 (less than $2 million in dead money if they cut him).
The Lions kicked $2 million into 2023 on Brockers, thus bumping the dead money to cut him before or after June 1, 2023 to $3.975 million and his overall cap hit to $13.975 million. The cap savings would be $10 million to cut him now, so it’s still hardly a guarantee he’s in a Detroit uniform this time next year.
To create cap space for this year, the Lions just don’t have a lot of options for contract restructures–as outlined nicely here by Erik Schlitt of Pride of Detroit before this past offseason started. They’ve since exhausted a couple, cutting Trey Flowers and restructuring Decker.
So Brockers gets more upfront pay with this restructure, and the Lions’ decision to keep him or not in 2023 really shouldn’t be greatly impacted by the additional dead money. I think we call that a win-win.