Lions agree to new deal with OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Big V is safely back in the den. The Detroit Lions reached a new contract agreement with offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai that will lower his cost and keep Vaitai in Detroit through 2023.
Vaitai was set to earn $9.4 million in base salary in both 2023 and 2024, an expensive legacy of the prior Lions management regime. With the new deal in place, Vaitai will count considerably less against the salary cap this season.
Per Over the Cap, Vaitai’s new contract costs just $3 million in base salary. The Lions gave him a $7.69 million bonus which is spread over 2023 and 2024. The 2024 season is a void year. Vaitai now counts $5.01 million against the cap in 2023 and $3.84 million in dead cap in 2024.
The 29-year-old started at right tackle in 2020 before kicking inside to right guard in 2021, where he performed better than he did outside. Vaitai was slated to be the starting RG in 2022 but a back injury in preseason forced him to miss the entire year. Evan Brown took over and parlayed a solid season into a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks this week.
Detroit brought back Graham Glasgow as a free agent to replace Brown. Vaitai’s new deal means the Lions have some more affordable options at the right guard and reserve OL spots.