Allen Park — The Detroit Lions already figured to have plenty of cap space heading into the 2020 offseason, but they cleared a little bit more this week, just in case.
First reported by ESPN on Friday, the team converted quarterback Matthew Stafford's $6 million roster bonus in 2020 to a signing bonus. By transitioning those funds to a signing bonus, the cap hit is spread over the remainder of Stafford's contract, instead of a lump hit next year.
In addition to converting the bonus, the team added a voidable year to the end of Stafford's deal, allowing them to evenly spread the $6 million over five years, instead of four.
The alterations reduced Stafford's 2020 cap hit from $31.5 million to $26.7 million, a $4.8 million reduction. But since a $1.2 million prorated portion of the converted signing bonus is applied to this year's cap, eliminating that money from being carried over, the Lions essentially created $3.6 million in space for next year.
The league isn't expected to release its salary cap figure for 2020 until March, but it's been projected to jump as high much as $13 million, up to $201.2 million.