Lions' Pettigrew accepts reduced salary while on PUP

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
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Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew returned to practice on Tuesday, nearly 11 months after tearing his ACL

Allen Park -- The Lions have reworked tight end Brandon Pettigrew's contract to pay him less while he remains on the physically unable to perform list, according to an ESPN report.

Pettigrew entered the year with a non-guaranteed $3.65 million base salary. His new agreement will split that salary. He'll be paid a $2.2 million base while on the PUP list and it will be bumped back up to the $3.65 million base once he's activated to the main roster. By accepting the split salary, the Lions guaranteed $1.2 million of the deal.

By being placed on PUP to start the regular season, Pettigrew must sit the first six games of the season. That means the Lions will save just over $500,000 in cap space during that stretch.

Pettigrew is still recovering from an ACL tear, suffered in a game last December.

This salary adjustment significantly reduces the chances the Lions cut Pettigrew this season. With $1.2 million guaranteed, plus a $2 million cap hit remaining from his prorated signing bonus, replacing the veteran with a younger, cheaper option this year would save the team less than $1 million in cap space.

Pettigrew has two years remaining on his contract. His $4.35 million non-guaranteed salary in 2017 remains unchanged.

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