The spotlight is shining brightly on Jared Goff and his contract with his struggles in Detroit following an offseason trade. Let’s take a look at the details around Goff’s contract, his salary, the implications on the Detroit Lions’ salary cap, and the Lions’ options with Goff in the next few years.
Jared Goff contract details and bonuses
Jared Goff was drafted with the first overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year deal worth $27.9 million, which had an option for a fifth year. However, in 2019, the Rams and general manager Les Snead signed Jared Goff to a four-year, $134 million contract.
When Goff was traded to the Lions, the Rams had to take on a $24.7 million dead money cap hit as the remaining prorated bonus money rolled onto their cap in 2021. The remainder of the deal went with Goff to the Lions.
Following the trade, Goff was set to earn just over $25 million in salary in 2021. The Lions restructured the contract, moving $20 million into a signing bonus. That bonus will prorate at $5 million per year between 2021 and 2024.
Goff’s contract has one more year of guaranteed money remaining. That is in the form of a $15.5 million roster bonus. His $10.65 million salary in 2022 is not guaranteed, however.
Goff’s contract length is for another three years following the 2021 season
While the contract was a four-year extension signed in 2019, Jared Goff still has three years remaining on his deal. after the 2021 season is finished.
The new contract took into account the fourth year of his rookie deal and the fifth-year option that the Rams could have chosen to exercise. Therefore, the 2020 season was actually the final year of that original rookie set up. The 2021 season was the first of Goff’s extension.
How does Goff’s contract affect the Lions’ salary cap?
Jared Goff’s contract currently counts for $10.65 million against the Lions’ 2021 salary cap. That is following the restructure, which saved the Lions $15 million in cap space this year.
In 2022, Goff is due to count $31.15 million against the Lions’ salary cap. That includes the fully guaranteed $15.5 million roster bonus, $5 million in prorated restructure money, and $10.65 million in base salary.
Is there a way for the Lions to move on from Goff ahead of 2022?
The Lions are in a tricky spot with Goff in 2022. He is due to count $31.15 million against the cap, but releasing him would only save $650,000 in salary cap space. The reason is that while they would not have to pay Goff’s $10.65 million salary next year, $10 million in prorated restructure bonus would accelerate onto the cap.
The Lions could get around that by releasing Goff as a post-June 1 release. That would mean the Lions only having $20.5 million in dead money in 2022, but a further 2023 dead-money hit of $10 million. With the way Goff’s time in Detroit has gone, that option seems very possible, especially if the Lions have a rookie QB they feel comfortable with after the 2022 NFL Draft.