Allen Park — The contract parameters have been filed for Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone and defensive lineman John Cominsky. As with all NFL contracts, it’s best to wait to see the full structure of the deal before reacting.
Here’s a breakdown of the numbers and a quick explanation of what they mean, starting with Anzalone.
Anzalone received a three-year, $18.75 million contract. In reality, it’s a two-year deal worth closer to $12 million with a team option for a third year. The deal includes a signing bonus of $4.8 million, base salaries of $1.2 million, $6 million and $6 million, per-game roster bonuses up to $100,000 each year, and a void year tacked on the end of the deal.
As a reminder, for cap purposes, signing bonuses are spread evenly across the duration of the contract. In this case, that $4.8 million will count $1.2 million against the cap for the next four seasons, due to the addition of the void year.
Including the active roster bonuses, Anzalone is set to have cap hits of $2.5 million next season and $7.3 million in both 2024 and 2025. And because $3 million on Anzalone’s 2024 salary is guaranteed, he’s essentially locked into a roster spot this season and next.
But in 2025, the Lions will have the option of sticking with him for that $7.3 million cap hit, which could admittedly end up being market-friendly if he continues to play at or above last season’s level. Alternatively, if the team wants to go a different direction, they can part ways and only be responsible for $2.4 million in lingering dead money tied to the signing bonus. That’s a potential a $4.9 million cap savings.
As for Cominsky, his two-year $8.5 million deal is, in many ways, a prove-it deal with a pay bump.
Coming off a breakout season, the Lions awarded him a two-year pact valued at $8.5 million. That includes a $2.4 million signing bonus, base salaries of $1.1 million in 2023 and $5 million the following year. When the cap hit of the signing bonus is divided, the cap figures are $2.3 million this year and $6.2 million next year.
Obviously, that’s a very reasonable cap hit for the production he provided in 2023. But, if Cominsky is unable to sustain his upward trajectory, the team would only be on the hook for $1.2 million in dead money in 2024, given none of the lineman’s base salary is guaranteed next year.
It’s worth noting, there were reports of up to $1 million in performance bonuses built into Cominsky’s contract. Those escalators are unknown, but won’t count against the cap unless he meets them.