With all of the trade rumors -- which are unfounded, according to Detroit general manager Bob Quinn -- surrounding the Lions and franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford being traded, let's take a look at how a trade would impact the Lions' 2020 salary cap.
First off, Stafford's cap hit for this upcoming season is $21.3 million -- just 10.7% of the team's cap space.
That cap hit percentage is the 13th highest in the NFL for all quarterbacks. With the quarterbacks on the free agency market this offseason, Stafford's cap hit rank could fall even more. Not too bad for one of the highest-paid contracts given in the history of the NFL a few short years ago.
If the Lions did move the 12th-year signal caller, his cap hit with accelerated bonuses would leave $32 million in dead cap space.
In essence, that means that trading Stafford would actually add $10.7-million more to his cap number in 2020.
On top of Stafford's dead cap figure, whoever the Lions signed or drafted to be their new quarterback would also add money to the position.
The one caveat, according to OverTheCap.com, is that Stafford's contract does include an option bonus that would transfer over to the new team, as long as the trade happens before the bonus comes into effect.
The exact time that bonus will go into effect has not been specified, however.
So, if Stafford is traded before the bonuses are given to him, it would leave the Lions with a dead cap hit of $24.8 million.
No matter the case, Stafford's dead cap -- if traded -- would put Quinn in a salary-cap pinch in a must-win season.
That is why it is highly unlikely that Detroit trades Stafford this offseason.