We’ve gotten a look-see at the contract of Lions defensive tackle Cory Redding.  If the Lions trade him to Seattle, the empty spot on the roster that he otherwise would have occupied will still consume a whopping $7.332 million in 2009 cap space.
It’s nearly $2 million more than the $5.383 million cap number that will apply to Redding if he plays for the Lions in 2009.
And the move brings into sharp focus a tool that some teams might use to reduce actual cash expenditures this year.  With the salary cap at $127 million and the salary floor at $111 million, one easy way to spend money against the cap without actually spending real dollars is to trade or release players with bonus allocations applicable in future years.
In Redding’s case, a trade would allow the Lions to shift nearly $5.5 million from years that might not have a salary cap at all into the last season under the current labor agreement.
Thus, teams can use money that they already have spent in past seasons to help satisfy the minimum expenditures they’re required to make this year.
Of course, they have to give up the player in order to do it.  But if a fair trade can be swung, it’s much easier to justify cutting the cord, since the team will also chew up cap dollars without writing any new checks.
Meanwhile, Redding’s contract reveals that the total remaining payout to the defensive tackle over five years will exceed $30 million, if the full five years are honored.  In addition to $25.6 million in base salaries, Redding is due to receive a total of $1.45 million in workout bonuses and $3.675 million in roster bonuses.