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In final year of contract, Jonah Jackson hopes to stay a Detroit Lion forever

Detroit Lions 2020 third-round Jonah Jackson says no contract talks have begun, but he’d like re-sign with the team and retire in Detroit.

Miami Dolphins v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Jonah Jackson has been one of the most unheralded players among the Detroit Lions offensive line. Although the left guard has made a Pro Bowl, he tends to play fourth fiddle on a stacked offensive line featuring first-round picks Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow and Penei Sewell.

But with Jackson, the team’s third-round pick in 2020, entering the final year of his rookie contract, he’s hoping he gets to play alongside those players for the rest of his career.

“I’d love to retire a Lion,” Jackson said after Wednesday’s minicamp practice. “I love this city. I have a great time here, enjoy everything about it from the sports, to the people, to the cuisine.”

The Lions are in a tricky situation with Jackson. While he obviously fits what they’re trying to do and is clearly a talented player, Detroit is already utilizing more in salary cap on the offensive line than any other team in the NFL. With a Sewell extension likely to come down the pike as early as next year, one has to wonder if they’ll earmark money for that over a Jackson extension.

A new contract for Jackson likely won’t come cheap, either. Atlanta Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom reset the market this offseason with a massive five-year, $105 million—an NFL record $20.5 million per year for a guard.

“Yeah, that’s a pretty penny what he got and a very deserving player,” Jackson said. “If it happens (for me), it happens.”

Jackson said as of right now, there have been no contract talks yet. So the 26-year-old left guard is focusing on things he can control: getting better.

“Just put my head down, going to work, showing up each day, training and just putting my best foot forward,” Jackson said. “If I do what I do, then everything else will fall in its place.”

Working in Jackson’s favor for 2023 is continuity. For the first time since playing high school ball, Jackson is going into the season with the same offensive coordinator he had in the previous year. And it’s even better when that offensive coordinator is Ben Johnson, one of the brightest young offensive minds in football.

“Especially with Ben,” Jackson said. “He’s the man. I love that guy.”

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