In Jeopardy: Lions With Bonuses Due ...

We've already learned that the Detroit Lions will be releasing Mike Furrey, Edwin Mulitalo, and Leigh Bodden. But why? And are there more on the way? Salary cap expert George Ketchman breaks it down ...

Editor's Note: For a complete breakdown of NFL salary-by-position, and an individual breakdown of the player contracts listed below, you can visit George Ketchman's thread on the subject here. - NC

The following players have bonuses due in March and the Lions will need to make a decision on these players soon.

Leigh Bodden is due a total of $11.1M in 2009, $8.6M in the form of an Option Bonus due at the start of free agency and $2.5M in base salary.  Bodden would be due $14.85M ($7.425M APY) over the next two seasons and $19.45M ($6.48M APY) over the next three seasons.  His three year APY is comparable to an above average #1 starting CB. 
Likelihood of being released 100%, Bodden's agent informed John Niyo of the Detroit News that the Lions had informed his client that they would not be exercising their Option.  Cap Savings from release $2.887M.   // Will be released

Calvin Johnson is due a total of $5,580,125 in 2009, $4M in the form of a salary advance and $1,580,125 in the form of base salary.  He's due a total of $12,580,125 ($6.3M APY) over the next two seasons and $19,955,125 ($6.65M APY) over the next three seasons.  Johnsons' three year APY is comparable to an above average #1 WR.  Johnson still has guaranteed salary due that essentially prohibits the Lions from releasing him (not that it would happen). 
Likelihood of being released 0%.  Cap charge if released $8.22M.

Jeff Backus
is due a total of $4.5M in 2009, $50,000 in the form of a workout bonus and $4.45M in the form of base salary.  Backus is due $10.5M ($5.25M APY) over the next two seasons and $16.5M ($5.5M APY) over the next three seasons.  His 2009 salary is comparable to an average starting offensive lineman. 
Likelihood of being released 5%.  Cap savings if released $1.5M.

Cory Redding is due a total of $3.55M in 2009, $250K in the form of a workout bonus due in Mid March and $3.3M in the form of base salary.  Redding is due $8.1M ($4.05M APY) over the next two seasons and $13.4M ($4.47M APY) over the next three seasons.  Redding 2009 salary is comparable to an average starting DT. 
Likelihood of being released, 5%.  Cap charge if released $1.95M.

Gosder Cherilus is due a total of $5.725M in 2009, $5.23M in the form of an option bonus and $495K in the form of base salary.  Cherilus is due $6,545,000 ($3,272,500 APY) over the next two seasons and $7,255,000 ($2.42M APY) over the next three seasons.  Cherilus has guaranteed salary due that essentially prohibits the Lions from releasing him. 
Likelihood of being released, 0%.  Cap Charge if released $5.6M.

Ernie Sims is due a total of $900K in 2009, $50K in the form of a workout bonus due in Mid March and $850K in the form of base salary.  He's due a minimum of $2M ($1M APY) over the next two seasons but will likely earn an escalator that will pay him an additional $1.015M base salary in 2010 ($1.5M APY).  Sims' has three years remaining on his current contract, but has the option to void the final year and will as he's only due $635K in 2011.  His $850K current year salary is the equivalent of a low paid backup LB. 
Likelihood of being released 0%.  Cap Charge if released $2.78M.

Dan Campbell is due $2.175M in 2009 and $4.65M ($2.325M APY) over the next two seasons.  His 2009 compensation ($75K workout bonus due in Mid March and $2.1M base salary) is comparable to lower paid starting TE.  Campbell has been a disappointment as he's spent the majority of the last two seasons on Injured Reserve. 
Likelihood of being released 50%.  Cap savings if released $1.735M.

Jared DeVries
is due $1.7M in 2009 and $3.4M ($1.7M APY) over the next two seasons.  His 2009 compensation ($400K roster bonus due at the start of free agency and $1.3M base salary) is comparable to a high paid #3 DE.
Likelihood of being released 10%.  Cap savings if released $1.35M.

Kalvin Pearson is due $645K in 2009 and $1.805M ($902.5K APY) over the next two years.  His 2009 compensation ($25K workout bonus due in Mid March and $620K base salary) is comparable to a #3 Safety.  Pearson was a valuable contributor on special teams in 2009.
Likelihood of being released 5%.  Cap Savings if released $275K.

Daunte Culpepper is due a total of $5M next year with $2.5M in the form of a roster bonus due at the beginning of the league year and another $2.5M in the form of base salary.  His compensation for 2009 would put him as a lower paid starting quarterback.  The Lions need to make a thorough evaluation of the quarterback position.  They need to have an open competition, but if they don't think Culpepper is going to win that competition, he needs to be released.  $5M for a veteran backup quarterback is too much. 
Likelihood of being released 40%.  Cap Savings if released $5M.

Dominic Raiola is due $4M next year with $500K due in the form of a roster bonus at the start of free agency, another $100K due in the form of a workout bonus due in Mid March and a $3.4M base salary.  Raiola's 2009 salary is comparable to an average starting offensive lineman. 
Likelihood of being released 5%.  Cap Savings if released $4K.

Dwight Smith is $3M next year with $500K due in the form of a roster bonus at the start of free agency, another $250K in the form of a reporting bonus due at the start of training camp and a base salary of $2.25M.  His 2009 salary compensation is comparable to a lower paid #1 Safety. 
Likelihood of being released 85%.  Cap Savings if released $3M.

Edwin Mulitalo is due $2.5M in 2009 with $500K due in the form of a workout bonus at the beginning of March and another $2M in the form of base salary.  His 2009 salary compensation is comparable to a starting caliber offensive lineman. 
Likelihood of being released 50%.  Cap Savings if released $2.5M.  // Will be released

Jon Kitna is due a minimum of $2.5M in 2009 with $500K due in the form of a roster bonus at the beginning of free agency, another $50K due in Mid March in the form of a workout bonus and a $1.95M base salary.  Jon Kitna has a $1M base salary escalator and a $500K roster bonus escalator that may or may not have been earned.  If he earned these escalators, his 2009 compensation would be $4M.  Kitna also has a NLTBE playing time incentive bonus of $1M.  His 2009 compensation is comparable to an average starting QB. 
Likelihood of being released 60%.  Cap Savings if released $2.5M.

Mike Furrey is due $1.95M in 2009, $100K due in the form of a workout bonus due in Mid March and another $1.85M in the form of base salary.  His 2009 compensation is comparable to a lower paid #2 starting WR.  Furrey has told the media that the Lions have informed him of his pending release. 
Likelihood of being released 100%, I would have put him at about 30% if he hadn't already informed of his pending release.  Cap Savings if released $1.95M.   // Will be released

Casey Fitzsimmons is due $1.2M in 2009, $20K in the form of a workout bonus due in Mid March and another $1.18M in the form of base salary.  His salary is comparable to a backup TE's salary, but he does have added value as a solid special team contributor. 
Likelihood of being released, 10%.  Cap Savings if released $1.2M.

Alex Lewis is due $1.2M in 2009, $200K in the form of a roster bonus due at the beginning of March and another $1M in the form of base salary.  His 2009 compensation is comparable to #3 starting LB. 
Likelhood of being released 25%.  Cap Savings if released $1.2M.

Daniel Bullocks is due $572,500 for 2009, $42,500 due in the form of a roster bonus at the beginning of free agency and another $530K due in the form of base salary.  His compensation is comparable to a #3 paid safety. 
Likelihood of being released 5%.  Cap Savings if released $572.5K.

Editor's Note: For a complete breakdown of NFL salary-by-position, and an individual breakdown of the player contracts listed below, you can visit George Ketchman's thread on the subject here.

You can also visit George's salary cap forum for a wide range of salary cap issues and discussion here: George Ketchman's Salary Cap Blog and Forum


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