According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Matthew Stafford and Kyle Vanden Bosch restructured their contracts so the Lions could add cap space and, in turn, three players to their defensive unit. With the added cap space, the Lions were able to sign starting linebackers Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant, cornerback Eric Wright, and re-sign cornerback Chris Houston. This is to mean that the Lions would not have been able to sign these players had they, or someone else, not restructured their contracts.â†µ
According to papers filed with the NFL Players Association, Stafford reduced his base salary for 2011 from $9 million to $525,000, the minimum for players with two credited seasons. Vanden Bosch reduced his base salary from $4.5 million to $810,000, the minimum for players with between seven and nine years experience. [...]â†µ
By restructuring the contracts of Stafford and Vanden Bosch, the Lions saved about $8.5 million in cap space. The deals were modified Aug. 4.
Stafford and Vanden Bosch will see the difference of what they gave up in base salary in bonuses paid out throughout the rest of their careers, but it's still a noble price to pay now in order to help the team win now. This move by the two expected Lions captains will not be lost on Lions fans.