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Thursday, March 13, 2014
On Golden Tate's salary cap number

By Michael Rothstein

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The figures for new Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate's salary are starting to leak out beyond the five-year, $31 million deal he signed Wednesday.

Tate's signing bonus is $8 million and his base salaries are $1.5 million (2014); $3.75 million (2015); $4.75 million (2016); $6 million (2017) and $7 million (2018).

Tate will have a cap number of $3.1 million in 2014, $5.35 million in 2015; $6.35 million in 2016; $7.6 million in 2017 and $8.6 million in 2018. Other than Tate's signing bonus, there are no other bonuses or incentives mentioned in his contract.

Tate's base salary is fully guaranteed for 2014. In 2015, $1 million of his base salary is fully guaranteed and $2.75 million is guaranteeed for injury. The entire base salary will be fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2015 league year. He has nothing guaranteed in the final three seasons of the contract.

That leads to his $3.1 million cap number for 2014. That would be the 13th-highest cap number on the Lions as of Thursday afternoon, right ahead of Joique Bell's $2.3 million and below Nick Fairley's $3.146 million.

The initial salary numbers were first reported by @RavensInsider. The other numbers were culled from ESPN Stats & Information.

It also means Detroit has $20.27 million of cap room tied up in wide receivers for 2014. That number could be a bit misleading, however, since Calvin Johnson's cap number is $13.058 million and Tate's is $3.1 million. The other receivers are Ryan Broyles ($1.003 million); Kevin Ogletree (635,000); Kris Durham ($570,000); Jeremy Ross ($570,000); Patrick Edwards ($495,000); Corey Fuller ($420,000) and Cody Wilson ($420,000).

More details about Tate's contract will likely pop out in the next few days.

That leaves the Lions with about $4.5 million in cap room -- give or take a signing or two -- according to the Detroit Free Press. This likely means before Detroit makes any more moves, contract restructuring is likely coming. Or a cut. Or a new contract for defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh that would cut the albatross that is the $22.4 million counting against the cap. Detroit will have to make some moves to work out some cap room over the next couple of months.