Stafford, Vanden Bosch redo deals, give Lions salary-cap space

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said Tuesday that he was in favor of restructuring his contract to help the team clear salary-cap space to sign other players.

Stafford spoke in vague terms about his new deal after details were reported by the Detroit Free Press and Crain's Detroit Business.

The Free Press reported Stafford and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who also restructured his contract, helped the Lions clear about $8.5 million in cap space. The team used that money to sign linebackers Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant and cornerbacks Eric Wright and Chris Houston.

"Just trying to be able to have enough cap space to be able to get the players we need and the players we want," Stafford told the Free Press. "I think there's guys in this locker room that, given the opportunity, a lot of them would do the same. We have a great locker room, a great bunch of guys that want to win, and if I can restructure a deal to help our team bring guys in here that can help us win, then I'm all for it."

Both players converted reduced base salaries into signing bonuses to be paid over the remaining years of their deals.

Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, signed a six-year contract worth up to $78 million with $41.7 million in guarantees. Vanden Bosch signed a $26 million, four-year deal last year.

The Free Press, citing papers filed with the NFL Players Association, reported that Stafford reduced his 2011 base salary from $9 million to $525,000, the minimum for players with two credited seasons, while Vanden Bosch cut his base salary from $4.5 million to $810,000, the minimum for players with seven to nine years of experience.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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