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List of Detroit Lions 2017 free agents

Here’s a look at the Lions that will be free agents once the 2016 season is officially over.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

As the Detroit Lions turn their attention to the season ahead, they must face some difficult decisions with their roster. As head coach Jim Caldwell alluded to in his farewell press conference on Monday morning, rosters typically go through at least a 30 percent change annually. That means we will be saying goodbye to a fair share of 2016 contributors and see a lot of new faces come August.

But before the Lions even consider adding players, they must first make decisions on their own. The Lions have 27 players under contract who will become free agents once the league year is over. Here’s a look at all of them.

Unrestricted Free Agents (20)

QB Dan Orlovsky (33 years old)
RB Joique Bell (30)
WR Anquan Boldin (36)
WR Andre Roberts (29)
TE Clay Harbor (29)
TE Matthew Mulligan (31)
TE Tim Wright (26)
OT Riley Reiff (28)
G Larry Warford (25)
G Garrett Reynolds (29)*
DE Devin Taylor (27)
DE Armonty Bryant (26)
DT Stefan Charles (28)
DT Tyrunn Walker (26)
LB Jonathan Bostic (25)
LB Josh Bynes (27)
CB Asa Jackson (27)
CB Crezdon Butler (29)
S Rafael Bush (29)
LS Don Muhlbach (35)

*Contract details for Garrett Reynolds were never made public. Since he was a veteran signing late in the season, it is presumed to expire at the end of the 2016 season.

Restricted Free Agents (2)

RT Cornelius Lucas (25)
DT Khyri Thornton (27)

Exclusive-rights Free Agents (3)

WR TJ Jones (24)
DT Kerry Hyder (25)
LB Brandon Copeland (25)

Exclusive-rights free agents can be offered a qualifying contract, which gives the team sole rights to the player. If the player signs the contract, he is no longer a free agent. If he declines the offer, he must sit out the entire season.

Of those 28 free agents, 15 played a significant amount of snaps for the Lions in 2016. That is a huge chunk of the roster that may not be back next year.

There are also five free agents that started at least half of the games for the Lions in 2016—Anquan Boldin, Riley Reiff, Tyrunn Walker, Larry Warford and Devin Taylor. If you include special teams on that list, you can add Andre Roberts and Don Muhlbach.

That’s a lot of potential roster overhaul for a team that made the playoffs in 2016, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Many players under contract are no safer than the names listed above. The Lions have some tough decisions ahead, and Bob Quinn will have his work cut out for him in his sophomore season as the team’s general manager.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.