Lions adding voidable years to DJ Chark's contract to maintain cap flexibility

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions are expected to officially sign wide receiver DJ Chark on Wednesday or Thursday to a previously reported one-year contract worth a fully guaranteed $10 million.

But the structure of the deal isn't that straight forward.

According to figures reported by "Over the Cap," Chark's deal will include two automatically voidable years at the end of the deal, which will allow the Lions to spread the cap hit over two years, leaving the team with some financial flexibility this offseason.

Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark warms up before a game against the Bengals in Cincinnati in 2021.

Chark will have a base salary of $1.035 million, the veteran minimum for a player with his experience. That will be supplemented by a $8.965 million signing bonus. Because a signing bonus is spread evenly across the length of the contract for cap purposes, and the Lions added two voidable years, only a third of the amount will count against the cap this year.

Combined with the base salary, Chark's 2022 cap hit will be a touch over $4 million, as opposed to the full $10 million. That also means the Lions will be responsible for a nearly $6 million dead money cap hit in 2023, when the receiver is set to be a free agent once again. 

Having that extra $6 million available this season will allow the Lions to continue to plug roster holes in the second wave of free agency.  So far, Chark is the only outside free agent the Lions have agreed to sign.

The team's other moves this week have focused on retaining their own free agents, headlined by multi-year deals with safety Tracy Walker, edge defender Charles Harris and wide receivers Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers