Michael Brockers’ new contract with Detroit Lions a win-win for participant, team
When the Los Angeles Rams and defense attorney Michael Brockers couldn’t agree to a contract restructuring last week that was required by the franchise’s salary cap, the team had no choice but to put him on the trading bloc.
Brockers, drafted by the Rams in the first round in 2012, had spent his entire career with the franchise before trading him in for a seventh-round draft against the Detroit Lions in 2023.
“It would be like you, as a likely rookie investor, were picking a blue chip stock that keeps making lots of great dividends,” said Rams general manager Les Snead on Friday. “But at the end of the day we tried to work with Mike to restructure ourselves and we couldn’t do it. Because of who he is and how he still plays, we were able to find a home so he could go in and move on and continue his career.
“The Lions wanted to renew his contract and things like that, so we tried to find a win-win situation for the Rams and Michael in this situation,” continued Snead. “But yeah, it definitely had to do with a hat.”
At the time of trading, the Lions inherited a hefty cap hit of $ 8.5 million for Brockers in 2021, but were able to take advantage of the fact that he no longer had guaranteed money on his deal.
To give Brockers instant relief and to provide Brockers with additional long-term security, they signed a three-year contract for $ 24 million with a $ 11 million guarantee. And with the way the contract is structured, it will almost certainly make $ 14 million over the next two years.
The contract provides for a signing bonus of $ 5.9 million and base salaries of $ 1.1 million in 2021, $ 7 million in 2022, and $ 10 million in 2023. His base salary is guaranteed this year and $ 4 million next year. The signing bonus is evenly spread over the term of the contract for cap purposes, a little less than $ 2 million per year.
That means Brockers will hit a cap of $ 3 million this season, as opposed to the $ 8.5 million it was originally supposed to have. In 2022, this cap hit jumps to nearly $ 9 million, but with $ 8 million in dead funds (the guaranteed $ 4 million plus the remaining $ 4 million for its signing bonus), it’s almost in able to stay with the Lions until next year.
In 2023, at the age of 32, the cap hit jumps to $ 12 million with $ 2 million in dead money, leaving the team to make a decision based on his performance at that point in his career.
“I would say that about Brockers, he’s probably one of the few in this league who can wield Thor’s hammer,” said Lions coach Dan Campbell on Friday. “Well, we are very happy about it.”