All of your email was very good, but one was very eloquent and written so well that we made the decision to post it up.  Thanks George!
Hi Hondo,

 
You asked for thoughts on the Cory Redding contract . . .I wanted a day to think about it before responding.

 
1)      I expected somewhere between 6M-6.5M per year with about 12-14M guaranteed.  But after thinking about it, I’m fine with it. 

2)       The cap in 2005 was 82.5M, this year it’s 109M . . .that is a 33% and a lot of teams are having a hard time spending it. 

3)      Redding signed a 7 year 49M contract that included 13M in signing and guaranteed roster bonus, 16M total guaranteed, 20M in the first three years.  However, if you took what Redding’s contract in this 109M salary cap year and extrapolated it to 2005’s 82.5M salary cap, when Rogers signed his long-term deal, Redding’s deal would equate to 9.1M in signing and guaranteed roster bonus, 11M total guaranteed and 14M paid in the first three years of the contract, with the total value of the contract being a 7 year 34.3M.  Rogers contract called for a 12.5M signing bonus, 15.5M in the first three years, with a total value of 6 year 35M.  Rogers’ contract is clearly the better contract when compared to what the cap was.  I think that’s significant. 

4)      Although many are saying that Redding is the highest paid DT, the fact is that he still got about half of what was guaranteed to Freeney, a little more than half of what Freeney is getting in his first three years and where Redding is getting 7M per year, Freeney is getting 12M per year.  The fact is, that the better DT’s haven’t had a chance to set the market for DT’s, Redding just happened to be the biggest to test the waters.
5)      Opportunity lost.  I think the fact that the Lions can’t afford to lose good players is important.  Whether it’s Backus or Redding or whoever, the Lions are not talented enough with depth to let good players walk for nothing. 
6)      I think the signing of Redding is important, it sends the exact opposite message that Agnello and the Bears sent to their team with the way that they handled Briggs.  With the Redding signing, Detroit said, if you work hard and perform at a high level, you will be rewarded.  With the way that Chicago handled Briggs (by not even attempting to sign him long-term this off season), they are saying to the entire team that we will do what is in our best interest, damn you. 

7)      I’m happy that we got Redding, but just like with Backus, I’d have liked it to be a little lower.  With a 33.33% increase in the cap, everyones salary is going up and the numbers are going to get a lot bigger before they level off.  I think next year at this time, we’re going to look at Redding as a bargain.  Just like when you see what Leonard Davis, Dockery, Dielman and Steinbach got compared to what we gave Backus last year . . .Backus’ contract looks like a bargain.  It’ll be interesting to see what the next marquee LT gets when his contract expires.

 
As always, enjoy the interviews and blogs,

 
George