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Marcus Davenport costing Vikings twice the cap room in 2024 than Lions

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By: Jeremy Reisman

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings fans think the Detroit Lions are wasting money on Marcus Davenport, but it’s Minnesota who will be paying more.

When the Detroit Lions signed Marcus Davenport last week, our “friends” at Daily Norseman were having a little fun at our expense. Since Davenport played just four games for the Minnesota Vikings last year—while costing them a whopping $13 million on a one-year deal, they penned an article titled “Marcus Davenport to steal money from Detroit Lions in 2024.”

Now, we know Vikings fans aren’t too fond of the Lions these days. They’ll say it’s because of some perceived dirtiness of Detroit’s players, but I think it’s probably more due to the fact that Detroit is the king of the division and has won four of their last five over the Vikings.

Anyways, that’s neither here nor there. Let’s go back to Davenport. The Vikings are clearly still salty over the fact that Davenport didn’t work out in Minnesota, and were happy to see him land in Detroit. Unfortunately, I have some bad news for our goldilocked friends: he’ll actually end up costing the Vikings nearly double the cap space in 2024 than he will the Lions.

You see, the Vikings utilized four voided years in Davenport’s contract last year, which pushed most of his $8.5 million signing bonus into the future. That all accelerates this year into a total of $6.8 million in dead cap for the 2024 season.

Meanwhile, the Lions signed Davenport to a much more reasonable one-year, $6.5 million deal, with only $3 million guaranteed. And get this: Detroit utilized an uncommon salary cap rule to make his overall cap hit just $3.42 million this year.

The details are a bit complicated, but I’ll give you the basics. It’s called the 50% rule, and it allows a team to use a portion of the base salary and other bonuses and treat them as a prorated signing bonus. Detroit used this stipulation in Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s restructured contract last year—If you want to learn more about it (but, fair warning, it is very complicated). Because the Lions added a void year to Davenport’s contract, those “signing bonus” cap hits are split between this year and next.

Here’s how the overall contact looks, per Over The Cap:

Marcus Davenport: One year, $6.5 million — $3 million guaranteed


  • $2.5 million base salary (only $1.125M counts toward the cap in 2024)
  • $2,297,500 million “signing bonus” (which includes all bonuses)
  • Cap hit: $3,422,500 million

2025 — Void year

  • $2,297,500 dead cap

As you may notice, the total of these cap hits is actually $5,720,0000, less than the overall value of the deal ($6.5 million). So the deal is even better than originally reported. Davenport does have the opportunity to earn more, though.

So, yeah, I suppose it may look like “stolen” money from jaded Vikings fans, but it’s undeniably a savvy contract from Lions COO Mike Disner and Detroit’s front office.

Originally posted on Pride Of Detroit