Lions restructure Tate’s contract, create cap space

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew acknowledged Monday the team was looking at ways to create some more cash flow for the regular season, and the front office indeed found one.

Golden Tate restructured his contract with the Lions to free nearly $2.3 million in salary cap space some time before Thursday morning, according to NFL Players Association records.

"We’re always monitoring that, and, obviously, we have the opportunity to create some cap room if we need to," Mayhew said.

Tate was previously on the books for 2015 with a $3.75 million base salary in addition to a $1.6 million portion of his $8 million signing bonus. The records show Tate’s new base salary this season as just $745,000.

After signing a five-year, $31 million deal last March, Tate’s cap hit for 2015 was originally $5.35 million. Converting a little more than $3 million of his base salary will raise his cap hit about $750,000 in each of the final three years of his deal while making his hit for this season a little less than $3.1 million.

The restructure gives the Lions about $2.1 million in cap space for the upcoming season, which can be used to sign free agents over the course of the year.