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Friday, May 2, 2014
A look at the Lions OL cap since 2010

By Michael Rothstein

Of all the position groupings we've already looked at in terms of salary-cap numbers and percentages, the way the Lions have handled the offensive line has been the most intriguing.

Using the time frame from 2010, the Lions have actually spent less in the past two seasons on the offensive line than they did in the three before that and it is very easy to argue that the Lions' offensive line in 2013 -- and, theoretically, 2014 -- will be better than what the team was paying for from 2010 to 2012.

Why?

A combination of retirements (Jeff Backus) and high-priced contracts coming due and not being renewed (Gosder Cherilus and Stephen Peterman) left Detroit with a lot of cheaper, younger linemen. They also, thus far, have turned out to be better.

Larry Warford
Counting just $714,250 against the cap this season, guard Larry Warford is a bargain for the Lions.
Should the Lions continue to hold on to last year's rookie offensive line class of Larry Warford and LaAdrian Waddle, the amount of money the team spends on the line will once again rise. If you're looking for a reason why Detroit could be good in 2014, it could start here, where the team is not yet paying a lot of money for talent on the line, meaning they could spend more on skill position players and on defense.

A reminder, numbers are from ESPN Stats & Information and in years other than 2014, these numbers reflect the end-of-season roster.

Prior cap studies: Running back; Wide Receiver; Tight end

2014
Total numbers: $12,322,683 (cap value); 18.96 percent (offensive cap percentage); 8.90 percent (total cap percentage); $9,631,700 (cash value).

By players:
2013
Total numbers: $13,221,451 (cap value); 22.32 percent (offensive cap); 12.63 (total cap); $10,147,468 (cash value).

By players:
2012
Total numbers: $22,771,263 (cap value); 36.65 percent (offensive cap); 18.88 percent (total cap); $22,005,660 (cash value).

By players:
2011
Total numbers: $21,474,971 (cap value); 33.93 percent (offensive cap); 18.35 percent (total cap); $21,234,967 (cash value).

By players:

2010
Total numbers: $24,318,624 (cap value); 33.36 percent (offensive cap); 21.30 percent (total cap); $24,570,553 (cash value).

By players: