The Lions are over the cap and have 23 players entering unrestricted free agency in 2013. In order to resign some of those players and bring in new talent, they will have to find a way to free up cap space. Stafford is due $20.3 million next season and the Lions could sign him to a new deal to help reduce that number.
Last season the Lions gave Calvin Johnson a new deal in order to free up cap space in an agreement that left both sides happy. Detroit is hoping to do the same with Stafford in 2013.
Detroit had similar cap issues last season, with most of their money tied up in a few guys and a list of important players to re-sign. Renegotiating the contracts of Johnson and other players allowed the Lions to re-sign their own free agents, but they were not able to bring in many new players.
After coming off a 4-12 season, it is possible Detroit will look to shed some of its larger salaries as well as renegotiate Stafford's deal.