How Cutting Desmond Trufant Impacts Detroit Lions' Salary Cap

The Detroit Lions made their first roster cut by releasing cornerback Desmond Trufant.
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Cornerback Desmond Trufant, who was signed by former Lions general manager Bob Quinn to replace Darius Slay, only played six games last season due to recurring hamstring injuries.

He was set to earn $9.5 million in base salary in 2021, with $3.5 million in guaranteed money.

After cutting Trufant, Detroit currently sits approximately $3 million above this year's salary-cap floor of $180 million. 

On Thursday, the National Football League released the salary-cap carryover figures, and the figures were positive for Detroit. 

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According to ESPN NFL insider Field Yates, Detroit is to carry over $15,227,427 in unused salary-cap funds -- $3 million more than what was originally expected. 

During his pre-draft media session Tuesday, Lions general manager Brad Holmes explained that, with the aid of senior vice president of football Mike Disner, the front office has been reviewing each and every possible salary-cap scenario. 

"Obviously, there's some uncertainty in terms of what that cap number will be," Holmes said. "From our planning standpoint, we've actually been weighing every single scenario from the most optimistic scenario -- what it would be -- to the worst-case scenario." 

He added, "So, it goes back to the process and the planning stages in terms of how it works. I will say that Mike Disner has been excellent in terms of his expertise in the salary cap and working with head coach Dan Campbell and myself and working through those areas."

Holmes not only discussed what the different scenarios could look like for his own team, but also how a variety of possible scenarios could play out with free agents looking for short-term agreements. 

"You just kind of weigh all those different scenarios, and you're trying to come up with what makes the most sense," Holmes explained. "Obviously, we're trying to look for what makes the most sense from a team standpoint or what makes the most sense for the Lions.

"But, at the same time, you're trying to predict where that player's at ... and what his agent is really thinking because he gets a lot of guidance from that standpoint. When you really delve into those discussions, you have some surprises."

The legal tampering period with free agents begins March 15. 

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