NFL Rumors: Detroit Lions don’t have enough cap space to sign draft picks

Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The city of Detroit infamously filed for bankruptcy in late 2013, but the financial problems of the city extend to financial problems with the team as well. While the Lions have been handicapped by taking most of their top players with high draft picks before the new CBA was struck, the team is just about broke — like flat broke.

So broke that they don’t have enough money to sign every single one of their draft picks in this upcoming NFL Draft in May. According to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, even after the Lions cut veterans Louis Delmas and Nate Burleson, the team won’t have enough money to rebuild positions like wide receiver in free agency, let alone the draft.

But for Lewand, the clock is ticking – loudly. Free agency begins March 11 and even after clearing $11.5 million by releasing Nate Burleson and Louis Delmas, the Lions don’t have enough cap space right now to sign all the players they will draft this year.

This causes a massive problem in not only starting off the Jim Caldwell era right, but giving Ndamukong Suh a long-term extension. Suh is going to be expensive and the fact that he’s signed with Roc Nation, the agency run by Jay Z who convinced the Seattle Mariners to give Robinson Cano every penny they had, doesn’t help ease tensions in the front office.

Detroit is strapped for cash, but the team can figure things out and move money around. The only question is can they reduce Suh’s cap hit in time, or will the 2014 season start out as embarrassing as the 2013 season ended?

Topics: Detroit Lions, Ndamukong Suh

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  • Michael Stenger

    Stafford needs a pay cut, until he can prove his decision making can improve.

  • twelsh36446

    The Lions have other options besides signing Suh. Albeit they would have more money to spend if the got Suh extended to spend in free agency. They don’t have to resign Suh to an extension, and it might be in their best interest to let him go. The money they might have to give Suh might be better spent signing several free agents next year to shore up the entire team. You can only have so many franchise players with Calvin, and Stafford already signing for big money it might be better to just let Suh go.

  • straw walker

    Here is the problem in releasing him…he’s owed 22 million on the salary cap for next year if he’s release he’s still owed 19 million on the salary cap.No team will trade for him with a 22 million hit and only one year then he’s a free agent.

  • straw walker

    The Lions need to release M. Leshour,WR Druham,and Byoles,DE Jones who is on IR,and the DE from Chicago last year. Hillard on the Ol needs to be released,
    The Lions need a lot of cap space. so let’s get it done.

    • twelsh36446

      They will keep Hillard and not resign Fox who is a free agent this year. Hilliard is almost 2 million savings if cut, but he has stayed fairly healthy, and if he has a good camp will be a backup. Jones, and Leshoure should be goners. Durham might get another year as a backup, but he will have to beat someone out in camp. Broyles has a cap savings of 445,000 if cut, and is only getting a little over million this year, so the Lions will probably have him stay another year, and if he gets hurt they can keep him at a reduced number anyway. Chris Houston will hurt us this year with a cap number of $4,800,000, and even if he’s cut the Lions only save $400,000, so let’s hope he starts playing better football. Jason Jones will save us 2 million in cap space and might be a wise cut. Cutting Suh who has a cap hit of $22,425,000 would save only about 3 million. The best way for the Lions to cut cap money is to renegotiate a few contracts, but they are running out of those too.

    • bobdd

      Durham would have no effect at $570,000 he may not even make the top 51, Jones would help but lose some dead money, Broyles & Leshore being high draft choices would save about 1/2 million each.

  • William Rhoads

    The need to release olgbetree,durham,spurlock,ross,pettigrew,mathis,sign suh and rework CJ,Stafford contracts to free more money up or bite the bullet!

    • bobdd

      William,
      You don’t understand how the Cap works. And I wonder whether Josh does. Its calculated on the highest payed 51 players. Except for Pettigrew who is leaving anyway, the players you mention will have no effect. Also, usually only the top 3 draft choices have any effect on the cap and with the 1st choice being the big kahuna.

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