One day after the cap strapped Saints got into the action of player cuts the equally cap strapped Lions followed suit with the release of Wide Receiver Nate Burleson and Safety Louis Delmas, saving the team $11.08 million in cap space and moving them from about $5.3 million over the salary cap to $5.7 million under the projected salary cap.
Burleson was scheduled to earn $5.5 million in 2014 with a salary cap charge of $7,513,645. His contract had been restructured multiple times to lead to that cap charge and will leave the tea with a salary cap charge that is slightly over $2 million.
Delmas has signed a short term extension last year that was essentially a one year prove it deal. After earning just $1.715 million in 2013 his salary was set to balloon to $6 million, a number that included a $500,000 roster bonus that was to be paid on the 5th day of the League Year. He will only count for $500,000 in dead money.
It is possible that the Lions could consider bringing both players back once free agency is in full swing. I had assumed the Lions would rework both of the deals of these players, but they opted for the release instead. By being released now both players can begin to negotiate with other NFL teams and likely gauge whatever value they may have.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.