Ketchman: Lions cap number after rookies sign

Our resident capologist George Ketchman breaks down each rookie signing and the total impact on Detroit's salary cap. Details inside.

(Editor's note: This article was written just prior to the signing of second-round pick Jordon Dizon, which occured just prior to the Friday afternoon practice (7/24). George will update the article soon to reflect Detroit's new cap number)

On Tuesday, July 23rd, the Lions agreed to terms with six of their draft picks, Kevin Smith, Andre Fluellen, Kenneth Moore, Jerome Felton, Landon Cohen and Caleb Campbell. On the 24th, Gosder Cherilus agreed to terms with the Lions. The amounts below used to calculate the salary cap costs are from Adam Caplan's and Nate Caminata's reports on RoarReport.com.

Kevin Smith - Smith signed a three year contract that included a signing bonus of just under $650,000 and base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $385,000 (2009) and $470,000 (2010). Assuming a SB of $649,800, Smith's 2008 Salary Cap cost would be $511,000.
  • $216,600 SB Amortization ($649,800 over 3 years)
  • $295,000 Base Salary

Andre Fluellen - Fluellen signed a three year contract that included a signing bonus of just over $511,000 and base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $385,000 (2009) and $470,000 (2010). Assuming a SB of $511,200, Fluellen's 2008 Salary Cap cost would be $465,400.

  • $170,400 SB Amortization ($511,200 over 3 years)
  • $295,000 Base Salary

Jerome Felton - Felton signed a three year contract that included a signing bonus of just over $136,000 and base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $385,000 (2009) and $470,000 (2010). Assuming a SB of $136,200, Felton's 2008 Salary Cap cost would be $340,400.

  • $45,400 SB Amortization ($136,200 over 3 years)
  • $295,000 Base Salary

Landon Cohen - Cohen signed a three year contract that included a signing bonus of just under $44,000 and base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $385,000 (2009) and $470,000 (2010). Assuming a SB of $43,800, Cohen's 2008 Salary Cap cost would be $309,600.

  • $14,600 SB Amortization ($43,800 over 3 years)
  • $295,000 Base Salary

Kenneth Moore - Moore signed a three year contract that included base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $385,000 (2009) and $470,000 (2010). Assuming a SB of $381,000, Moore's 2008 Salary Cap cost would be $422,000.

  • $127,000 SB Amortization ($381,000 over 3 years)
  • $295,000 Base Salary

Caleb Campbell - Unfortunately, the Department of Defense changed their position on allowing Campbell to fulfill his military obligations in an alternative manner. Campbell had agreed to a contract, but since he was ordered to return to West Point to serve as an assistant, he didn't sign the contract. As a result, the Lions will retain his rights until next April's draft. If the Lions don't sign Campbell to a contract before then, he will reenter the draft. My guess is that next March, the Lions will talk to Campbell and see what he wants and/or what he is allowed to do and at that time, they may offer him another contract similar to the one that he had agreed to a few days ago.

Gosder Cherilus - Cherilus signed a five year, $12.5M contract that guarantees him $8.86M with a maximum value of $15M. He'll receive base salaries of $295,000 (2008), $1,600,000 (2009), $1,920,000 (2010), $2,240,000 (2011) and $855,000 (2012). Based on the above information and what the Lions have done in the past, I'm going to guesstimate his contract to include a $500,000 Signing Bonus, $1,005,000 Roster Bonus payable at the start of training camp, $950,000 one-time bonus, that I discussed in a prior blog entry and a $3,000,000 option bonus/salary advance due and payable in early 2009. Based on the above information and guesstimates, Cherilus' 2008 Salary Cap Cost would be $1,400,000.

  • $1,005,000 Roster Bonus
  • $100,000 SB Amortization ($500,000 over 5 years)
  • $295,000 Base Salary

Jordan Dizon - He is the only remaining unsigned draft pick. Earlier this week, Tom Lewand reported to the media, that they were close, but earlier today, Tom Kowalski reported that a deal isn't imminent. The Lions have always been fair with their contract offers and as a result, usually get all of their 2nd round or later draft picks in camp on time. Dizon is the only one that I can recall in recent years that hasn't made it in on time. My guess is that the outstanding drunk driving charge against Dizon is playing a negative role in the negotiations. I believe that the Lions are offering a contract below the slotting that typically takes place with rookie draft picks or are offering a contract in which less money is paid up front. Dizon was drafted 45th overall, Drew Stanton was drafted 43rd overall in last years draft. The contract that Dizon should receive, based on slotting, should be similar to what Stanton received, maybe slightly less because Stanton is a QB and QB's usually receive a higher contract than other draft picks. Stanton received a four year, $3.9M contract with $2.85M guaranteed.

Based on the above information and before adjusting for Leigh Bodden's extension, I show the Lions about $2.6M under the cap.


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