Detroit Lions free agency move: Team offers 5-man ERFA deal

On Monday, the Detroit Lions announced they had offered five of their 2023 exclusive free agents.

A free agent is a player with less than three years of NFL experience whose contract expires. Because ERFAs are not vested veterans, teams hold their contract rights and have the option to offer them a one-year contract, usually for the league minimum fee.

Unfortunately for the players, once awarded, they have few options in front of them. First, they can sign their tendered contract and will be back on an NFL roster, which is the option almost everyone chooses. Second, if they decide they don’t want to sign their offer, they can request their release, which the team may or may not accept. Finally, if the player refuses to sign and the team refuses to cancel the tender, the player would be forced to sit out the upcoming season, which is why most chose the first option.

Simply put, expect all of the players listed below to sign their offer and make the Lions’ offseason 90-player roster.

TE Brock Wright – After the team traded TJ Hockenson, Wright took over for the rest of the season. Wright has played well in the new role, including catching a game-winning touchdown against the Jets, but will likely face competition for the starting role in 2023.

TE Shane Zylstra – Zylstra stepped into the Lions TE3 role after the Hockenson trade, eventually splitting time with rookie James Mitchell as a rotating TE2. The highlight of Zylstra’s season was a three-touchdown performance against the Panthers in Week 16. He will fight for a spot on the roster in 2023.

NT Benito Jones – Claimed during the cuts, Jones saw his role grow as the season progressed, and by the end he was getting regular rotational snaps and contributing on a weekly basis. Jones primarily filled the role of reserve nose tackle last season, and his future role may be determined by the other defensive linemen acquired this offseason.

LB Anthony Pittman –We first learned of Pittman’s offer via Dave Birkett of the Free Press on Wednesday, which was an expected move given Pittman’s value, especially on special teams. In 2021, Pittman saw over 400 special teams snaps for Detroit (which led the team) and in 2022 he was just one behind the team leader with 358 special teams snaps. Pittman’s contributions should put him in a good position for 2023, but he may need to show more on defense.

LS Scott Daly – After taking over from Lions legend Don Muhlbach in 2021, Daly has been the team’s main long snapper for the past two seasons. Last year, Daly didn’t face competition in training camp for his role, and it’s unclear if he’ll face a challenger this training camp, or if he’ll continue playing without. opposition.

To note :

The Lions had two other unannounced ERFA options with this group: running back Craig Reynolds and LIO Tommy Kraemer.

THE The Lions announced that Reynolds had been re-signed, but it’s unclear if he just signed his offer or was handed a whole new contract. Either way, he’s back on the list.

Regarding Kraemer, he had a back injury that cost him the whole of last season and it is possible that this injury prevents him from getting treatment, or it is also possible that the team decided to move on to something else. There is no clarity on this situation at the moment.

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