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Lions mailbag: What is the future of Jeff Okudah?

Jeff Okudah is one of the bigger topics in this week’s Detroit Lions mailbag podcast.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Earlier this week, the NFL announced the fifth-year option amounts for the 2020 NFL Draft first-round picks. That means the Detroit Lions now have a couple of months to decide on the fate of cornerback Jeff Okudah.

To be clear, Okudah is under contract for 2023 no matter what they decide to do with his fifth-year option. However, the Lions must decide by May 1 whether they want to activate Okudah’s 2024 option, which would cost them $11.5 million in guaranteed money.

On the latest midweek mailbag podcast with myself and Erik Schlitt, we discuss the decision facing the Lions, and Okudah’s future beyond that choice. While it seems unlikely the Lions pick up that option, is there still a chance Okudah can be a regular starter in 2023 and beyond? What do we make of his benching towards the end of the season?

That topic kicks off our second segment on the podcast, starting around the 22:30 mark.

Other topics on this week’s show:

  • Would the Lions consider trading up for an elite defensive talent in the 2023 NFL Draft? (3:00)
  • Do you think Lions GM Brad Holmes would consider a splash free agent signing like Duron Payne? (7:40)
  • What personnel package would we like to see more of on offense/defense? (10:30)
  • If the Lions pass on cornerback and defensive line in the first round, what position is most likely the target? (14:00)
  • How did the Lions change their practice habits in the final half of the season? (29:55)
  • Will the Lions’ current spending on their OL prevent them from making a big RG signing in free agency? (33:00)
  • Graham Glasgow to Detroit? (35:55)
  • Could the Lions finally trade down in the first round? (40:40)

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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.