When the Detroit Lions signed place-kicker David Akers last week, it was worth asking whether he would be given the 2013 job outright or if he was acquired to participate in a competition for Jason Hanson's old job.
Details of his one-year contract suggest Akers should be considered the favorite for the job. Importantly, though, the Lions' relatively moderate financial commitment shouldn't impact a decision to go in another direction if Akers can't rebound from a career-worst season.
The one-year deal is worth $1.005 million, including a veteran's-minimum base salary of $940,000 and a signing bonus of $65,000. The Lions also guaranteed $35,000 of the base salary, giving him a total of $100,000 in guarantees.
(The value of that signing bonus isn't random, by the way. It's the most a team can give out and still qualify for the minimum salary benefit credit that will hold his 2013 cap number at $620,000.)
So if Akers bombs in training camp, the Lions will be out $100,000 in cash if they decide to look elsewhere. The cap hit to release him would be minimal. The Lions wouldn't have guaranteed him even $100,000 if they planned an open competition, so it shouldn't be a large-enough total to impact their decision-making.