According to a Tweet by the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, the Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson has agreed to reduce his base salary from $4.5 million to $2 million for next season.
Nate Burleson’s new base salary for 2013 is $2 million, cap number $4.031M.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 27, 2013
Burleson will still count for just over $4 million against the cap due to prorating of previous bonus money that he had received. Birkett breaks down the Lions’ current salary cap situation after working out this reduction with Burleson and a previous reduction for center Dominic Raiola.
Raiola has a $1-million base salary for 2013, down from $4.05 million, and Burleson took a pay cut to $2 million, from $4.5 million.
With 13 days until the start of free agency, the Lions have $113.9 million in 2013 cap commitments. Next year’s cap is expected to be somewhere around $122 million.
It’s great that Burleson was willing to agree to a salary reduction to help out the team, but I doubt he’s 100% altruistic with his motives. Justin Rogers points out that he’s said the right things this offseason, but his options may very well have been (1) take less money or (2) get cut. And I’m not sure that there’s any guarantee that an aging receiver coming off of injury would get more than $2 million on the open market.
General manager Martin Mayhew appears to be doing all that he can to give the Lions’ extra room to spend in free agency, but it remains to be seen whether or not they can create enough wiggle room to make much of a splash on the market.