For the third time this offseason, a veteran Detroit Lions player has agreed to a significant pay cut to stay with the team.
Instead of releasing offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and immediately clearing slightly more than $6.5 million in cap space, the two sides agreed to a restructured deal that will save the Lions even more in 2023.
Vaitai, who missed all of last season with a back injury, had been scheduled to carry a bloated $12.5 million cap hit in 2023. That figure included a $9.4 million base salary, which has been reduced to $1.2 million. Additionally, the Lions converted $1.8 million of that amount into a signing bonus, which, for cap purposes, will be spread evenly across the remaining two years of the contract.