How Detroit Lions have spent their free agent money so far
After going year to year at the position for most of the last decade, the Detroit Lions are counting on Chase Daniel to be their backup quarterback for at least the next two seasons.
Daniel's three-year contract, agreed upon Tuesday, includes base salary guarantees that make it likely he'll be in Detroit through at least 2021.
Daniel can void the final year of his three-year, $13.05 million contract if he informs the Lions of his desire to do so between the sixth and 14th days after the 2021 league year Super Bowl and he repays the team $1 million.
The Lions have employed backup quarterbacks on minimum-salary contracts for the entirety of Bob Quinn's tenure as general manager, but were bit by that decision last year when Matthew Stafford missed the final eight games with a back injury.
Backups Jeff Driskel (0-3) and David Blough (0-5) went 0-8 in Stafford's absence, and the Lions struggled to generate points offensively.
Blough remains under contract for the 2020 season and will have to compete for a job, while Driskel agreed to a free agent deal with the Denver Broncos late Tuesday night.
Daniel, 33 and entering his 12th NFL season, has played for four other teams in his career – the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears – and is 2-3 lifetime as a starter.
Last year, Daniel completed 70% of his passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions in three games for the Bears. He beat the Lions at Ford Field on Thanksgiving in 2018, when he threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns.
"I really like playing at Ford Field!!!" Daniel tweeted Tuesday.
Daniel received a $2.25 million signing bonus as part of his deal and has base salaries of $1.25 million and $4.3 million the next two seasons. In 2021, $1.5 million of his base salary is guaranteed.
The Lions entered free agency with about $50 million in cap room, cleared about $5 million with the release of Devon Kennard on Tuesday and have so far allocated about $13.7 million of that space to free agents Daniel, Jamie Collins and Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
The structure of new defensive tackle Nicholas Williams' contract is not yet known.
Free agents can begin signing contracts with their new teams at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Total: Three years, up to $30 million, $18 million guaranteed.
2020: $4 million base salary, $7 million signing bonus. Cap hit: $6,333,333.
2021: $8.8 million base salary ($7 million guaranteed), $200,000 workout bonus. Cap hit: $11,333,333.
2022: $9.8 million base salary, $200,000 workout bonus. Cap hit:$12,333,334.
Total: Five years, up to $50 million; $20 million guaranteed.
2020: $4 million base salary, $7 million signing bonus. Cap hit: $5.4 million.
2021: $9 million base salary (fully guaranteed). Cap hit: $10.4 million.
2022: $6.5 million base salary, $500,000 workout bonus. Cap hit: $8.4 million.
2023: $8.9 million base salary, $100,000 workout bonus. Cap hit: $10.4 million.
2024: $8.9 million base salary, $100,000 workout bonus, $500,000 play-time incentive. Cap hit: $10.4 million.
• Vaitai also has salary escalators of up to $1.5 million in 2023 and $3 million in 2024 if he reaches unspecified playtime incentives in the 2022-23 seasons.
Total: Three years, up to $13.05 million; $5 million guaranteed.
2020: $1.25 million base salary, $2.25 million signing bonus. Cap hit: $2 million.
2021: $4.3 million base salary ($1.5 million fully guaranteed), $250,000 total in per-game roster bonuses. Cap hit: $5.05 million (does not factor in per-game roster bonuses, the cap hit of which is determined by how many games he plays in the previous season).
2022: $5 million base salary. Cap hit: $5.75 million.
• Daniel can void the final year of his contract if he informs the Lions of his desire to do so between the sixth and 14th days after the 2021 league year Super Bowl and he repays $1 million