(ALLEN PARK) -- It's beginning to look more and more like the end of the line for Lions defensive tackle Luther Elliss. With Robert Porcher restructuring his contract, (a two-year $7 million deal with a$1 million signing bonus) it appears he will spend the last two years of his career where he started it; at defensive tackle.
Matt Millen tipped off the Lions plans in comments to Fox Sports when speaking about the possibility of taking Arizona State's Terrell Suggs he said "we've already had those conversations. He (Suggs) would be tough to pass up. I know for a fact that there are at least 10 sacks in him. That makes Kalimba Edwards that much better. It makes Robert (Porcher) inside that much better; which makes our corners that much better. And that changes the whole defense."
It appears as if Millen and Mariucci are flirting with the idea of moving Porcher back to his original position, defensive tackle. That alignment would allow him to play with third-year man Shaun Rogers to give Detroit a formidable presence in the interior of their defensive line. Kalimba Edwards would team with James Hall as a pair of speedy undersized ends.
But if Detroit drafts Suggs with its number two overall pick, suddenly a good pass rush gets even better. The odd man out in all of this would be Elliss. Injuries and a huge contract are combining to make him 'persona non grata' in the Lions offices. The only thing standing in the way of his release is whether Detroit wants to take the cap hit this year, or delay it until next year by waiting until June 1st to release him.
Detroit already has a ton of dead money, resulting from the release of former players Charlie Batch and Herman Moore. They might decide adding Elliss to the pool at this time would be prohibitive. If Detroit does release Elliss it saves his $4.7 million salary immediately, however the pro-rated portion of his signing bonus, three years of it, accelerate into this year's cap figures. Elliss six-year contract included a $11.542 million dollar bonus which pro-rates to $1.92 million per season. That means $5.76 million would accelerate into this years cap if Detroit released Elliss now, resulting in a net loss of $1.06 million.
If Detroit waits until June 1, it will see a net savings under the cap of just under $860,000.