Good Morning and RRROAAAAARRRR!!!!
One month. Likely at least $6 million.
That's what the Detroit Lions are looking at right now. Free agency and the start of a new league year kicks in at 4 p.m. ET on March 11 -- one month from now. Normally, this could be a reason for excitement for the Lions and other teams around the league, as it gives them a chance to start to craft their franchises for a run at the playoffs.
But right now for Detroit, the Lions are a little more than $6 million over the projected 2014 salary cap of $126 million -- and that's before the terms surrounding center Dominic Raiola's new contract are known. So the Lions have some maneuvering to do to knock down their cap number before they have to be below it at 4 p.m. ET on March 11.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Lions cap is now at $132,769,422 -- so there is some major money that needs to be cut. Some of that can happen through restructuring contracts of veterans or making decisions on the futures of others, such as safety Louis Delmas or guard Leroy Harris.
The Lions are going to want to cut more than the $6 million-plus, though, since they will eventually need room to sign their rookies and perhaps make a run at a free agent or two. This will be the next big area to pay attention to as the team moves along with the personnel and evaluation process of veterans, rookies and free agents.
And now, a look at Lions news from around the Interwebs:
The Lions applaud Michael Sam for his courage and a look at whether or not he could fit in Detroit's plans. Detroit has a decision to make on tight end Brandon Pettigrew and the latest in the Meet the Free Agents series on receiver/returner Jeremy Ross.
Charles Tillman doesn't think it would be awkward to join the Detroit Lions, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Teryl Austin is going to try and solve the Nick Fairley conundrum, writes Kyle Meinke of MLive.