Current Detroit Lions salary cap situation after first wave of free agency

The Detroit Lions did a great job bringing in some fresh faces to fill in some glaring holes while maintaining some continuity by bringing back several players from last season. Also, with the first wave of free agency now over, we can clearly see the team’s salary cap situation moving into the draft.

Using Over the Cap, below are the 2023 cap hits for the players the Lions signed this offseason:

Cam Sutton – $3,280,000

David Montgomery – $2,845,588

Alex Anzalone – $2,500,000

John Cominsky – $2,300,000

Isaiah Buggs – $1,700,000

Matt Nelson – $1,300,000

Will Harris – $1,232,500

Ross Pierschbacher – $1,010,000

Craig Reynolds – $940,000

Emmanuel Moseley- Awaiting details

Graham Glasgow – Awaiting details

Michael Badgley- Awaiting details

As you can see, the cap hits are very reasonable this season. They leave the Lions with a current cap of about $18.4 million. General manager Brad Holmes structured the deals to be reloaded and added invalid years, giving the Lions the flexibility to maneuver the rest of free agency and the draft, especially with five of their seven draft picks in the top 100.

A helpful tool over OTC, it provides an effective cap that takes into account the top 51 contracts and potential rookie class contract numbers. These estimates give an estimated amount of cap space the team could have afterward. For example, OTC estimates the Lions will spend about $8.3 million to sign their rookie class.

Looking back at the 2022 draft class and the cap hits the players had on the respective draft picks the Lions are scheduled to have this year, the cap hit came to nearly $13 million, and that, if the Lions stick with their current draft picks. But of course that takes into account the money they could spend on priority-free agents.

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Using the effective cap provided by OTC and previous transactions, the Lions could still have about $5 million to $10 million in cap depending on how the contracts are structured after their rookie class is signed.

Currently, the Lions sit comfortably at the top of the league in available funds with their salary cap, giving them flexibility if they decide to seek other free agents. Additionally, they could still maneuver funds amid potential reorganizations, with Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Romeo Okwara giving the Lions extra breathing room if needed.

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