this is not a good situation for the lions. the over $10M salary price further limits what space the lions have to retain tulloch and others, much less shop for some bargains on the FA market. however, as mayhew said earlier the only worse scenario would be avril not being on the team at all for 2012.
It's definitely a lot of money tied up in the defensive line. Suh's salary is 9.25 mil and with his roster bonus, his cap hit is over 10 mil. Avril is another 10 mil. Williams is 5 mil. Vanden Bosch is 5 mil but I think his cap number is a bit higher. Fortunately for them Fairley is signed cheaply, but I don't know that he proved enough last year that you want to rely on him as a starter (if you cut Williams to save $$).
They have some contracts they can unload, although I'm not tuned in enough to know what that will mean in terms of cap accelerations. RB is sort of a mystery, DB is a mess, both backup QBs are free agents, there's no LT on the roster at the moment...Avril's tag makes all of those positions harder to address.
Looking at those numbers made me curious, and the Bears only have one guy on the line making more than $500-some thousand this year, Peppers.
They, on the other hand, could afford to spend a little more on the line...