Lions Rumors

2020 NFL Cap Space, By Team

Cap management has been extra complicated in the NFL this year. After ~70 NFL players opted out of the 2020 season, teams were left with holes and plenty of available dollars to fill the gaps. At first, the ongoing uncertainty over next year’s salary cap had teams nervous about large-scale commitments. Now, it seems like we’re getting back to business as usual.

Recent deals for Saints star Alvin Kamara, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and others demonstrate the league’s long-term confidence. In turn, we’ve seen cap figures change dramatically in September.

Here’s the rundown of each team’s estimated cap space for the 2020 season, via Over The Cap:

  1. Cleveland Browns – $33.4MM
  2. New York Jets – $28.6MM
  3. Dallas Cowboys — $27.5MM
  4. New England Patriots – $26.3MM
  5. Washington Football Team – $25.8MM
  6. Denver Broncos – $25.7MM
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars – $25.2MM
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – $20MM
  9. Detroit Lions – $18MM
  10. Miami Dolphins – $16.7MM
  11. Baltimore Ravens – $14.2MM
  12. Los Angeles Chargers – $11.8MM
  13. Cincinnati Bengals – $11.6MM
  14. Arizona Cardinals – $11.4MM
  15. Indianapolis Colts – $11.3MM
  16. San Francisco 49ers – $11.2MM
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers – $10.9MM
  18. Chicago Bears – $9.9MM
  19. New York Giants – $9.6MM
  20. Houston Texans – $9.6MM
  21. Tennessee Titans – $9.4MM
  22. New Orleans Saints – $8.8MM
  23. Green Bay Packers – $8.7MM
  24. Los Angeles Rams – $7.7MM
  25. Las Vegas Raiders – $7.4MM
  26. Carolina Panthers – $6.9MM
  27. Kansas City Chiefs – $6.6MM
  28. Buffalo Bills – $6.5MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks – $6.2MM
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $3.7MM
  31. Atlanta Falcons – $3.3MM
  32. Minnesota Vikings – $2MM

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/15/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed: K Matt Gay
  • Released: DE Gerri Green

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

  • Signed: QB Jake Dolegala

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Lions Place Justin Coleman On IR

The Lions are placing Justin Coleman on injured reserve, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Coleman strained his hamstring on Sunday against the Bears, and he’ll miss at least three weeks of action. 

Hamstring injuries have dogged the Lions in recent weeks. They were already without wide receiver Kenny Golladay and cornerback Jeff Okudah heading into Week 1. Then, in the season opener, Coleman and fellow cornerback Desmond Trufant exited early with hammy issues. Okudah can step up for Coleman if he’s able to go for Week 2 against the Packers, but they’ll be extra thin if Trufant needs the week off. Beyond that, they’ve got Darryl Roberts and Tony McRae on the depth chart.

The Lions may look to sign former Chargers and Texans defensive back Jaylen Watkins after auditioning him this week. If Watkins isn’t a fit, they’ll likely need to find secondary support elsewhere. The Packers topped the Vikings 43-34 in their opener and the offensive line gave Aaron Rodgers tremendous pocket support throughout the game to move the offense down the field. The Lions can’t bank on consistent pressure next week, so they’ll need top-tier play from their banged-up CB group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Restructure Matthew Stafford’s Contract

The Lions have reworked QB Matthew Stafford‘s contract. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the Lions will convert $7.8MM of Stafford’s 2020 base salary into a signing bonus (Twitter link).

As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press observes, Stafford’s renegotiation in 2019 gave the Lions the ability to exercise a $7.2MM option bonus by yesterday (Twitter link). That would have resulted in a $15MM total salary, so the club instead elected to make $7.8MM of that amount a signing bonus in order to spread out the cap charge a bit.

Stafford, 32, was the subject of trade speculation earlier this year, though Lions GM Bob Quinn was quick to shoot down those rumors. There was also some thought that Detroit could use its No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft to select a future heir to Stafford, but that didn’t happen either. As of right now, it seems as if Stafford will remain in Detroit at least through the end of his current contract, which expires after the 2022 season (with a voidable year in 2023 for cap purposes).

The No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 draft was in the midst of a very strong season in 2019 before a serious back injury suffered in November put an end to his streak of 136 consecutive starts and ultimately landed him on IR. Prior to that, he had compiled nearly 2,500 passing yards and 19 TDs against just five interceptions, good for a career-best 106.0 QB rating.

Stafford is now fully healthy and is ready to lead his team against the division-rival Bears in this afternoon’s season opener.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. Many of these roster decisions involve practice squad promotions. Under the new CBA, teams are permitted to promote two P-squad players without corresponding roster moves per week. Teams can carry 55 players on their rosters for game days and can have up to 48 active.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Promoted: RB Nathan Cottrell, TE Ben Ellefson

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: DB Nate Brooks

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

WR Notes: Fitz, Evans, Sutton, Reagor, Lions

Larry Fitzgerald has taken a year-to-year approach to retirement for a while now, but the Cardinals‘ all-time great has continued to return and remain productive. However, he will not spend much time considering a return if the now-Kyler Murray-led team makes a surprise run and wins Super Bowl LV this season.

That would definitely validate me,” Fitzgerald said of a Super Bowl victory, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “You wouldn’t see me around here anymore if that happened. Another catch, another touchdown, another yard is not going to make more whatever – my legacy is pretty much cemented. I just want to win a championship, I want to compete for a division title. Those are the things that are important to me.”

Now 37, the league’s oldest active wideout has climbed into second place on both the receptions and receiving yards lists. Needing 172 catches to pass Jerry Rice, Fitz would likely need at least two more full seasons to have a chance to move into the No. 1 spot on that list. A yardage pursuit does not seem remotely attainable. Regarding the Cards’ Super Bowl hopes, they sit 17th at plus-5000 — according to BetOnline.ag — to claim a championship this year.

As Week 1 approaches for 30 teams, here is the latest wide receiver news:

  • Sunday will likely force fantasy managers to make changes, and Tom Brady may well have to adjust in his first game with Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have listed Mike Evans as doubtful to face the Saints. Evans did not practice Wednesday or Thursday with a hamstring injury, before being limited Friday. This is a familiar situation for the seventh-year wideout; Evans missed the final three games of the 2019 season with a hamstring malady.
  • Kenny Golladay is on track to miss the first game in his contract season. The Lions listed their top wideout as doubtful as well. The fourth-year standout has also encountered hamstring trouble. Detroit is not particularly deep at wideout, at least in terms of proven targets, but does have Marvin Jones back to start his contract year. The Lions also re-signed Danny Amendola this offseason.
  • The AC joint sprain Courtland Sutton suffered in practice looks likely to shelve him for the Broncos‘ Monday opener against the Titans. While the Broncos are calling their top receiver “day to day,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes the third-year standout is a long shot to play in Week 1 (video link). Sutton has not yet missed a game as a pro.
  • Not all the current wide receiver news skews negative. After fears pointed to Jalen Reagor missing multiple September games, the Eagles wide receiver was a full practice participant each day this week and appears on track to play against Washington on Sunday. The first-round pick suffered a torn shoulder labrum during training camp. His presence will certainly help a receiving corps down Alshon Jeffery for the foreseeable future.

This Date In Transactions History: Lions Extend Theo Riddick

On this date in 2016, the Lions finalized a three-year, $12.75MM deal with running back Theo Riddick. At the time, the deal positioned Riddick as one of the higher-paid tailbacks in the NFL. Today, the deal serves as a reminder of how quickly things can change in football. 

[RELATED: Lions Sign Adrian Peterson]

Riddick, who had just turned 25, was coming off of a breakout year. He hauled in 80 passes – the most of any running back in 2015 – for 697 yards and three touchdowns. The Lions didn’t want to let the dual-threat RB get anywhere near free agency, so they locked him up through 2019. With Riddick and the speedy Ameer Abdullah in the fold, the Lions figured that they were well-set in the backfield.

Riddick kicked off his new deal with 728 all-purpose yards in ten games and set a new career-high with 3.9 yards per tote. And, naturally, he showed his soft hands with 53 grabs. Then, a wrist injury halted his season in November. Riddick returned in 2017, and stayed healthy, but the Lions’ ground game was lacking. In 2018, rookie Kerryon Johnson emerged as a total game-changer, and that changed the course of Riddick’s career. After Riddick logged just 40 carries, the Lions no longer felt that he was worth his contract. In July of 2019, they dropped the 27-year-old to save less than $4MM against the salary cap.

Today, Riddick finds himself on the fringe. After missing the Raiders’ final cut, he’s waiting for his next opportunity on Jon Gruden‘s practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/9/20

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad updates here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: T Greg Senat

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Signed: OT Jaryd Jones-Smith

New England Patriots

  • Signed: G Corey Levin
  • Released: FB Paul Quessenberry

New Orleans Saints

  • Signed: DE Marcus Willoughby

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/6/20

Here are Sunday’s minor moves. The players who landed on injured reserve are eligible to come off teams’ respective lists after three weeks. For 2020, teams can also activate an unlimited number of IR players — as opposed to the two-man max of 2019.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Claimed (from Washington): T Timon Paris

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Claimed (from Dolphins): G Deion Calhoun
  • Signed: CB Torry McTyer

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lions Set Initial Practice Squad

The Lions have announced their initial practice squad in a release, with Detroit adding 16 players to the unit:

Blough was an undrafted rookie from Purdue last year who ended up starting five games after injuries to Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel. The offseason addition of Chase Daniel made Blough expendable, but he’ll serve as the third quarterback.

Wiggins has been in the league since 2012, and he has extensive starting experience. He’s started 13 games for Detroit over the past two years, and will probably be the first guy getting called up if there are offensive line injuries. Williams carried the ball 49 times for Indy last year, but he’ll have a tough time getting any snaps now that the Lions have also added Adrian Peterson.