The Detroit Lions will be plenty motivated against the Packers in Week 18, but what players have contract incentives that may bear watching?
The Detroit Lions may have no chance to make the playoffs by the time Sunday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers kicks off. But they will definitely relish the role of spoiler if that’s the case, still with a chance to finish above .500 and set a tone for the future.
But it’s also (obviously) the final game of the regular season, and the last opportunity for any Lions’ players with incentive bonuses in their contracts to cash them in. While the entire team won’t lack for effort, said players will have a bit of extra motivation.
So which Lions have incentives in their contracts that may be within reach in Week 18?
Note: This may not be a complete list, as I’ve tried to put together information from a variety of sources and they differ or are incomplete in some cases. That being said, the Lions don’t have too many veteran contracts which could realistically have incentives laced in, so I targeted looking at those where it was applicable.
Which Detroit Lions have contract incentives to watch in Week 18?
RB Jamaal Williams: Needs six yards to reach 1,000 for the season to get a $250,000 bonus.
Williams might get six yards on his first carry Sunday night, going against the Packers’ bottom-end run defense by DVOA and raw yardage allowed. If he’s smiling extra big afterward, aside from doing it against his former team, we’ll know he knows he just cashed his bonus.
WR Kalif Raymond: The incentive numbers are different depending on where you look with Raymond, but I’ll trust SI.com’s Albert Breer.
Lions WR Kalif Raymond gets $250,000 each for 50 catches, 600 receiving yards and five touchdown catches….. He also gets $150,000 for 300 punt-return yards…and $25,000 for every punt return touchdown.
Raymond is at 43 catches for 550 yards this season, and he has 264 punt return yards with one touchdown (so he’s got $25,000 already banked, according to Breer). 50 receiving yards and 36 punt return yards feel the most within range here–Raymond has not had more than five receptions in a game this season.
WR DJ Chark: According to Spotrac, and the initial reported details, Chark has $3 million in unspecified catch, yardage and touchdown incentives in his one-year deal. He missed six games and has 27 receptions for 488 yards and three touchdowns on the season. So let’s assume those incentives (all of them, at least) won’t be hit, since they’re likely to be more than something like 30 catches, 500-550 yards and/or five touchdowns.
WR Josh Reynolds: Reynolds has $2 million in incentives in each year of the two-year deal he signed last offseason. The details were not reported, other than Spotrac adding a bonus plus escalator equation. But there are presumably statistical triggers for those, and where Reynolds is in relation to them (37 catches for 463 yards and three touchdowns) is unclear.
LB Alex Anzalone: Via Spotrac, Anzalone has $1.75 million in incentives on his one-year deal for this year. Once again, precise reporting on what those incentives entail wasn’t really out there. But he is having a solid season, with 117 total tackles (74 solo), 1.5 sacks, an interception and six pass breakups while playing every game (and 88-plus percent of the snaps in all but one). So perhaps Anzalone has already banked a little incentive money heading into Week 18.