To put it mildly, the Lions have...issues with the salary cap this year.
They cut Kyle Vanden Bosch and Stephen Peterman because their production wasn't at expectations, but they also had to do it just to comply with the 2013 salary cap figure.
The Lions are losing about a third of their roster to free agency, and yet they were still over budget for 2013. Where is that money, and how can the Lions get some of it back so they can actually put together a functional team next season?
That will be the focus of this piece: breaking down where the Lions' 2013 money is sunk, and what to do about it. Try not to panic, because to say some of these figures are ugly is an insult to ugly things. However, hopefully this will give an idea as to why we need, collectively, to stop talking about the Lions signing megabucks players like Greg Jennings and Andy Levitre.
The Lions currently sit at just over $119 million on what is reportedly a $121.1 million cap. Let's play "find the money."
Of course, we'll be starting with the biggest cap hit of all, with all relevant salary information provided (as usual) by Spotrac.com.
Note: Some figures will be noted as "dead." "Dead" money is guaranteed money being paid to players who are no longer on the roster. Yes, it counts against the cap.
Former training camp kicker Derek Dimke is one of those "dead" money players. The Lions owe him $2,500 in 2013, and I'm listing that here because the Lions have literally no other special teams players currently under contract, and it seems silly to dedicate an entire slide to Dimke's $2,500.