Ketchman: Cap Impact of Detroit's 2008 Roster

Salary capologist George Ketchman breaks down Detroits' 2008 salary cap based on the new 53-man roster. Inside: An exclusive financial breakdown of each position, and each player, that has landed on Detroit's 2008 final roster.

(Editor's Note: This was written prior to the signing of Rudi Johnson. George will have a new posting soon outlining the salary cap ramifications of the signing of Johnson and the release of Tatum Bell. NC)

Saturday was the final cut down day to the 53 man roster and now the salary cap status is computed a little differently. Up until this point, only the top 51 cap figure for players counted, plus dead cap and bonuses that are allocated to this year. Now everything counts. The salary cap for the year is $116,729,000 and by my guesstimate, the Lions have $114,483,252 of current charges against the cap, leaving them with $2.2M of Salary Cap space.

One thing the Lions did not do, they did not make cuts based on salary cap implications, they kept the best players. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cory Redding or Jeff Backus restructure their contracts (both are committed to the Lions long-term), Jason Hanson to sign an extension (he's in the final year of his contract and the Lions can reduce his current year cap hit through an extension), Dominic Raiola to sign an extension (they can reduce his current year cap hit through an extension) or sign Roy Williams to an extension, provided they are committed to Roy long-term. All the above is dependent on if they need additional cap space to do what they want to do, i.e. sign Rudi Johnson.

  • (3) Quarterbacks - $7,600,440
  • (3) Running Backs - $2,406,000
  • (4) Wide Receivers - $14,364,711
  • (5) Full Backs/Tight Ends - $6,603,840
  • (9) Offensive Linemen - $16,840,669
  • (11) Defensive Linemen - $17,474,117
  • (6) Linebackers - $7,437,960
  • (9) Defensive Backs - 13,464,063
  • (3) Specialists - $4,101,827
  • (6) Injured Reserve - $3,060,517
  • (8) Practice Squad - $707,200
  • Dead Cap - $15,073,843
  • Cap Adjustment - $5,348,065

QB - Some teams have carried only two QB's in the past, but we are not set up that way. Stanton is injured and even if he wasn't, he's not better than Orlovsky yet. $7,600,440.

RB's - Rudi Johnson was in Detroit last night, it'll be interesting to see if there are any changes. We claimed Marcus Thomas off of waivers and he has to remain on the roster for at least three weeks. $2,406,000

  • Tatum Bell - $1,600,000
  • Kevin Smith - $511,000
  • Marcus Thomas - $295,000

WR - There needs to be an option to put a 4th WR on the game day roster if one of our main four are nicked up. $14,364,711

FB/TE - With the release of Sean McHugh, we only have one FB. Casey Fitzsimmons can fill the void if Felton gets injured during the game, but there is no viable solution if Felton were to miss an extended period of time. Owens appears to be on the roster in case Campbell continues to struggle with nagging injuries. If Owens is on the opening day roster, his salary would be guaranteed for the year (he has four credited seasons in the NFL). I wouldn't be surprised to see him released before the start of week 1 and signed immediately after the game. $6,603,840

OL - This unit seems to be set, you have viable backups at all the positions. Cherilus can play either tackle position, Ramirez can play either guard spot. Andy McCollum can play center or guard and Cook has the versatility to play guard or tackle. $16,840,670

DL - 11 defensive linemen made the final roster, wow. Well, we won't end the season with 11 DL guys on the roster. Maybe a trade is in the works for Shaun Cody or Langston Moore? $17,474,117

LB - With six guys, we have the depth, but once again this is a position that will need to be addressed if a player gets nicked up. $7,437,960

DB's - We kept 9 guys and while we could probably get by when a player gets nicked up, it'll be a little tougher if a couple of guys get banged up. The CB's tend to be some of the smaller players on the football field and are always susceptible to injury. $13,464,063

ST's - There weren't any players to be cut and the players that we have are some of the best specialists in the league. $4,101,827

  • Jason Hanson - $2,086,720
  • Nick Harris - $1,298,387
  • Don Mulbach - $716,720

Injured Reserve - $3,060,517

  • Stanley Wilson - $933,720
  • Jon Bradley - $713,387
  • Brian Calhoun - $639,970
  • Aveion Cason - $366,720
  • Reggie Ball - $206,720
  • Shemiah Legrande - $200,000

Dead Cap - $15,073,843

The Lions signed their 8 practice squad players. Each player will earn a weekly paycheck of $5200 and if on the roster for the entire season, will earn $88,400. With 11 defensive linemen on the roster, it's not a surprise that the Lions didn't sign a defensive lineman to the practice squad.

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