What can really be said about the Lions that hasn't been a George Strait song at this point? The Lions continually spin their wheels and are essentially the Cleveland Browns of the NFC. They have the means to acquire talent, however that talent never wants to stick around. What can the Lions do in 2022 to make waves in what could be a wide open NFC North?
2021 Record: 3-13-1
GM: Brad Holmes
HC: Dan Campbell
OC: Ben Johnson
DC: Aaron Glenn
2021 Statistical Leaders
Jared Goff: 332-494 67.2% 3,245 19-8
DÁndre Swift: 151-617-5, 62-452-2
Amon-Ra St.Brown: 90-912-5
TJ Hockenson: 61-583-4
Kalif Raymond: 48-576-4
Tracy Walker: 108 Tak, 1 Int, 1.0 Sak
Amani Oruwarivel: 57 Tak, 6 Int, 11 PD
Charles Harris: 65 Tak, 7.5 Sak
Notable Free Agents:
Pos, Name, Age, Contract Status, 2021 Snap Count
S - Tracy Walker (27), UFA, 77.3%
DE - Charles Harris (27), UFA, 76.4%
WR - Kalif Raymond (28), UFA, 67.3%
LB - Alex Anzalone (28), UFA, 72.6%
S - Dean Marlowe (30), UFA, 61.3%
(7) Projected Cost of Rookie Picks in 2022: $10.3m
Round 1 #2
Round 1 #32
Round 2 #34
Round 3 #66
Round 3 #97
Round 5 #177
Round 6 #180
Round 6 #218
Detroit has been awarded 3 Compensatory Picks for the loss of Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Jarrad Davis.
The Detroit Lions may have been bad by design in 2021 and by looking at the sections of this article immediately following this, you will probably be able to tell why. With the trade for Jared Goff, and let’s be honest, it wasn’t a trade for Goff but more a trade for a reasonable QB and a haul of draft picks, Detroit was left saddled with a contract extension they immediate made worse by restructuring $20m in a year they weren’t going to be good anyway. In 2022, Goff’s cap number will triple from the $10.65m in 2021 to $31.15m in 2022. Even with that, the team remains to have $22.7m in remaining cap dollars and while they will have 49 players returning as of now, the roster is still very short in several positions. With as historically bad as they have been, this is not exactly a place where players are itching to go, regardless of the money Detroit may offer.
Tracy Walker, Kalif Raymond and Charles Harris, all respective stat leaders in 2021, are all days away from hitting the free agent market. While Detroit has the draft picks to address these needs, the truth is they will need to resign at least one of these players.
Charles Harris finally played his first season over 40% defensive snap count since 2017 and it paid off. Downside, he will be an $8m per season player at the bare minimum.
Tracy Walker, at age 27, had similar numbers in 2019 with Detroit (when the team also won only 3 games). This production is probably most linked to the defense just being weak in general, forcing the safety to account for more tackles than he probably should have. He should be affordable, around $3m per season. Dean Marlowe is also a free agent at the safety position and at age 30, likely offers a lower contract and shorter shelf life at the position if they are looking to draft a player with one of the 5 picks in the top 100 Detroit owns.
For the love of God, stop playing with Jared Goff’s contract.
Free Agency is a tough sell in Detroit. While the players love head coach Dan Campbell, this isn’t exactly a budding market for a player to be drawn to. Knowing that, Detroit let walk several players in 2020 which played favorable for them with Compensatory picks. This is all about the draft this season and next season, with multiple first round selections in both upcoming drafts. Detroit will lack the ability to really pull any big names to fill the holes all over this team. While the offensive line really could be worse, the linebacker, safety and wide receiver position are in rough shape. Detroit should be able to make a big impact with the starting 22 players in this year’s draft.