Detroit Lions Salary Cap: What Needs to Happen to Get Back Under the New CBA

Brenda SummersCorrespondent IIAugust 5, 2011

DETROIT - DECEMBER 20:  Derrick Williams #12 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball during the game against the Arizona Cardinals on December 20, 2009 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are just one of the teams that were reported by ProFootballTalk to be over the total player spending limit allowed each team this year.  In fact, it was reported that they were about $5 million over. 

It sounds like, and is, quite a bit of money but it's not difficult to redistribute $5 million.

For any fans who have felt concerned that the Lions would need to make significant player cuts, this is not the case.  Several players will be cut in the next few weeks but it will be because of the need to get down to a 53 man roster and not to create more cap room.

What the Lions will do is what most teams who are over the cap right now will do.  They will restructure how they pay their most expensive players.

Look for the team's big money makers to be asked to take a large portion of their salaries this year in the form of bonuses.  This will result in each of them receiving much less money each week but they will get a hefty amount at the beginning and the rest prorated. 

The most likely players to have their salaries restructured are top paid veterans like Matthew Stafford, (6 yr/72,000,000), Calvin Johnson (6 yr/$58,004,800), and Jeff Backus (6 yr/$38,000,000). 

This does not mean that there won't be any cuts to make more cap room, it just means that cutting big–time players for the sake of getting back under the cap won't happen.

On the list of players who could be cut this week (pure speculation and not including newly acquired players off waivers or UDFAs) are WR Derrick Williams, WR Maurice Stovall, and CB Maurice Leggett