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Lions Free Agency 2012: Calvin Johnson Extension Will Save Cap Space, According To Report

Signing superstar receiver Calvin Johnson to a seven-year, $132 million extension was a win in more ways than one for the Detroit Lions: it saves the team $9 million in cap space, according to a report.

The Lions, who had previously had to maneuver numerous other contracts just to get under the cap in time for the start of the new league year, will benefit in the short term from the new flexibility created. Under his previous deal, Johnson was slated to have a cap hit near $20 million for the 2012 year.

The team will announce the extension for Johnson at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, and the deal will make him the richest wide receiver in league history. He was a 2011 All-Pro selection and the NFL's leader in receiving yards with 1,681.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride Of Detroit. For more on the NFL free agency in general, head to the specialized hub for 2012 NFL free agency