The Detroit Lions offered a huge extension to center Frank Ragnow earlier this offseason, leading to one of the most heart-warming moment for the franchise. Ragnow, undoubtedly, is going to be a huge part of this team’s future, and after he’s already accomplished so much in his young, three-year career, it was awesome to see his hard work pay off in such a significant way.
Does that moment await any other Detroit Lions player this offseason? There are plenty of players entering the final year of their contract—Tyrell Crosby, Nick Williams, Da’Shawn Hand, Tracy Walker and Jack Fox, to name a few—but are we certain any of them will be part of this team’s long-term plans?
There’s also the option for the Lions to get ahead of an extension by doing it two years in advance, like they did with Ragnow (who had one year on his contract remaining, plus a fifth-year option that had been exercised). Some of those candidates include Austin Bryant, Jahlani Tavai, Will Harris, and Amani Oruwariye. T.J. Hockenson technically has two years left on his deal, but with a fifth-year option in addition to that, there’s no reason to extend him yet.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Should the Lions extend any other players this offseason?
My answer: All of the names above still have a lot to prove. Tracy Walker has to put a couple years of struggle behind him before the Lions should commit to him long-term. Same with Nick Williams and Da’Shawn Hand. Jack Fox had a fantastic first year in Detroit, but punting is all about consistency. Can he follow it up with another season? Given that he’s on a cheap, ERFA contract, the Lions would be wise to simply wait on him.
Tyrell Crosby, I think, would be a solid candidate for an extension, but it appears the Lions have other plans, including a potential trade.
One name not mentioned above that could be in line for an extension is cornerback Mike Ford. Though he’s mostly been a special teamer in his career, it appears Ford will be in serious contention for the starting nickel corner job. Obviously, Ford has yet to prove much as a defensive player yet in his NFL career, but he’s been a solid special teamer, and if the new coaching staff believes he’s capable of expanding his role, now would be a good time to hand him a modest deal. Again, there’s no urgency to do it, but from a team standpoint, the sooner the extension the more affordable.
Overall, I’d be surprised if the Lions handed any player an extension this offseason, but it’s possible they chat with Ford, Walker or maybe even Crosby if they have a change of heart.