Detroit Lions OG Halapoulivaati Vaitai mentioned as potential cap casualty

The offseason is upon us, and the Detroit Lions have already started making moves the decision has been made to cut veteran defensive tackle, Michael Brockers. But, as we have written, Brockers may not be the only cap casualty for the Lions in the coming weeks. In a recent article published in The Athletic, one player from each NFL team was named as a potential cap casualty, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai was mentioned as the Lions' candidate.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions OG Halapoulivaati Vaitai to be a cap casualty?

Here is what The Athletic has to say about Vaitai potentially being a cap casualty for the Lions:

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2023 cap hit: $13.9 million
Cap savings if cut before June 1: $6.5 million
Dead money if cut before June 1: $5.9 million

Vaitai, Detroit’s starting right guard, is coming off of a lost year. Injuries have plagued his Lions tenure, and the 2022 season was no different. Most recently, a back injury and subsequent surgery wiped out his year before it even began. He didn’t take a snap in 2022. The Lions could look to restructure his contract and run it back with a presumably healthy Vaitai in 2023. Or they could create an additional $6.5 million in cap space by releasing Vaitai prior to June 1, then draft his successor in April. Detroit has five picks among the top 85. This situation is certainly worth monitoring.

Bottom Line: Lions have a tough decision to make regarding Hal Vaitai

If Vaitai can stay healthy, he could be the missing link in what is already a pretty darn good Lions' offensive line. That being said, Vaitai has not been able to remain healthy, and considering the Lions can save themselves some cap space by cutting him may just be the smart move. Personally, I am a big fan of a healthy Vaitai as he is not only a solid player, but he is a great mentor for the younger offensive lineman on the team, including Penei Sewell, who certainly looks up to him.

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