- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Last week, the Detroit Lions executed a relatively minor restructuring of receiver Calvin Johnson's contract, freeing about $3.4 million of salary-cap space for 2013. Simply put, restructures push the created space into future years. This particular change won't have a major impact, but it's a bit alarming that the Lions have already started this process just a year after signing Johnson to his record-breaking seven-year contract extension.
With that in mind, let's look at Johnson's future salary-cap numbers. His original cap numbers, before the restructure, are in parenthesis:
2013: $8.773 million ($12.2 million)
2014: $13.058 million ($12.2 million)
2015: $20.558 million ($19.7 million)
2016: $24.088 million ($23.2 million)
2017: $21.357 million ($20.5 million)
2018: $17 million
2019: $18.250 million
(The final two years did not change because signing bonuses can only be pro-rated over a maximum of five years.)
Looking ahead, you wonder what might happen in 2015, when Johnson's cap number spikes above $20 million. There is a vague sentiment around the NFL that television money will have raised the salary cap by then, but that projection is not a certainty. By that time, it's possible the Lions will be juggling cap numbers of monster extensions for quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as well.
Last week, the Detroit Lions executed a relatively minor restructuring of receiver Calvin Johnson's contract, freeing about $3.4 million of salary-cap space for 2013.