The Detroit Lions had themselves an active free agency, but many of their moves appear to be of the short-term variety. As we’ve seen in the past, Lions general manager Brad Holmes likes to sign players to one-year, prove-it deals as a way to get add a player at a relatively cheap price, while also offering the players an opportunity to fight for a bigger contract the following year.
This has resulted both in big promotions for the players in Detroit—see the second deals that Charles Harris, John Cominsky, and Alex Anzalone scored with the Lions—and promotions for players who signed elsewhere after their time in Detroit (Jamaal Williams, Evan Brown).
This offseason, the Lions continued their initial short-term commitments to players, signing six of eight new additions to one-year deals—the two exceptions being running back David Montgomery and cornerback Cameron Sutton.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Lions free agent addition is most likely to sign a second contract with Detroit?
My answer: Let’s run down the additions really quickly:
- RB David Montgomery
- WR Marvin Jones Jr.
- G/C Graham Glasgow
- LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
- CB Cameron Sutton
- CB Emmanuel Moseley
- CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson
- LS Jake McQuaide
Right off the bat, I’m going to take the two players who got three-year deals off the board. It’s entirely possible the Lions bring either or both of those players back, but running backs are rarely worth their second contract, let alone their third, and Sutton will 31 by the time his next contract ends.
I’ll also eliminate Marvin Jones, as he’s already 33 and the Lions will likely be looking to continue to stay young at wide receiver next year.
The rest have a really good shot of sticking around. Glasgow is 30, but he’s highly motivated to stay in Detroit and seems humble enough to stick around as a backup, if needed. Reeves-Maybin is a valued special teamer, and those players can stick around on one-year deals for years. Jake McQuaide could very well win the long snapper battle, and if he’s anything like Don Muhlbach, he could stick around for still a few more years, despite turning 36 back in December.
But I want to turn my attention to the Lions’ two highest-ceiling signings: Emmanuel Moseley and C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Both players are relatively young—Moseley is 27, Gardner-Johnson is 25. So if they ball out, they could be in the Lions’ long-term plans and turn out to be a steal for the team.
However, I am a bit skeptical on Detroit’s ability to retain Gardner-Johnson. Though he’s got serious ties to Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, as we saw from his negotiations with the Eagles this offseason, Gardner-Johnson is going to play hardball next offseason, and the Lions showed this year that they have their limits. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the two butt heads around this time next year.
That leaves me with Moseley. If he can come back from his torn ACL and even have a moderately successful season, everything about this guy strikes me as someone you’d like to have in the organization. Of course, that’s a major “if.” Moseley is not only losing a lot of his offseason to rehab from the injury, but he’s also changing teams, teammates, and scheme. It’ll be a challenge for him, but as someone who worked his way up from an undrafted rookie, I think he’s capable, and I think the Lions are going to prioritize him next offseason when he proves himself in 2023.
Your turn. Vote in the poll and then scroll down to our comment section to sound off.
Which Lions free agent addition is more likely to re-sign again in Detroit?
This poll is closed
RB David Montgomery
WR Marvin Jones Jr.
G/C Graham Glasgow
LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
CB Cameron Sutton
CB Emmanuel Moseley
CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson
LS Jake McQuaide