The Detroit Lions found themselves a bit up against the salary cap, but a swift move has helped them alleviate some of that pressure.
According to ESPN analyst Field Yates, offensive tackle Taylor Decker was Detroit’s key to being able to get back comfortably under the cap ahead of the 2022 season.
Decker agreed to a money move which saw base salary converted to a signing bonus. The decision helped the Lions create nearly $5 million dollars of cap space for the team.
“The Lions have converted $6M of OT Taylor Decker’s base salary into a signing bonus, creating $4.5M in 2022 cap space, per source,” Yates tweeted.
The move gives the Lions some wiggle room during the season and was a nice way for the Lions to be able to get a little bit under the cap in case they need a few emergency signings during the year.
Decker’s Contract Already Lauded as Solid
Perhaps the best deal they’ve done lately was for Decker, an offensive lineman from the 2016 draft class.
Decker has looked solid in Detroit while proving himself and as a result, got rewarded with a new contract. It’s a deal that stands out as a valuable one for the Lions and an example of a savvy move.
Pro Football Focus and Brad Spielberger took a look at picking out the top 32 contracts in the league for 2022 that are team-friendly, and Decker’s pact with Detroit placed on the list. It came in at 13th overall. While Spielberger did not offer analysis for Detroit’s top deal, it was reminded in the piece that Decker’s contract is a four-year, $58.3 million dollar pact, with three years and $42.65 million in cash remaining.
When the Lions brought Decker back, it was on the heels of a solid season in 2020. Decker saw injury slow him down early in 2021, but he returned for a big finish to the year and is looking to be in prime position to continue to be impressive on the field with a revitalized line in 2022.
The sensible deal with Decker, done by Bob Quinn Detroit’s former general manager, is seen as one of the top contracts in the league for the value it provides the team and player.
Positions Lions Could Look to Add
Why did the Lions need a bit of money? Just in case they decide on an addition or two for the back end of the roster during the season, or if an unfortunate injury should strike.
On defense, the Lions could have a need for a defensive lineman, particularly a plugger for the middle of their line or a space eater. Recently, the team had Malcom Brown in for a visit, so he could be a potential solution. Detroit has better depth at linebacker, but could look for an addition there. Perhaps another safety could be in-play as well.
In terms of the offensive side, the team is mostly set. Detroit added Nate Sudfeld as the backup quarterback, but if another injury happens, they could be interested in a boost. The same is true at spots like wideout and tight end.
The Lions have better depth, so don’t expect them to go wild with the signings during the season. It’s simply nice for them to have a little bit of space with which to operate during the year, however.