NFL: Lions Make Moves in NFL Free Agency

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
Detroit Lions Sport News


  • NFL free agency officially started Wednesday with teams able to sign new free agents. They could agree to deals as soon as Monday.
  • The Lions made a trade with the Bucs for veteran defensive back Carlton Davis III in their biggest move so far.
  • After reaching the NFC Championship game, the Lions are a Super Bowl 59 favorite.

NFL free agency almost dominates the headlines more than March Madness this time of year.

Lion fans were certainly interested to see the news that former Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons, and the Packers made a few moves to beef up their defense.

The Lions have been relatively quiet so far, not seeking many changes on a team that was a good half of football away from the Super Bowl.

It won’t be as loud as last year, but the Lions will again be a darling team this off-season. It’s never too early to look at the NFL odds at Michigan sportsbooks. The Lions are +1200 to win the Super Bowl at BetMGM Sportsbook, tied with the Bills with the fourth lowest odds. FanDuel has the Lions at +1300, tied with the Cowboys. Both sportsbooks have Detroit the favorite to win the NFC North.

What Have The Lions Done? 

The Lions have almost $30 million in room under the NFL salary cap, but true NFL fans have learned over the years that the salary cap can be manipulated. Basically, only a year’s salary for a player counts against the cap, so teams get around it with bonuses and voided years.

Coming into the off-season, critics agreed that the Lions needed to improve in the secondary. They made a big move trading for veteran cornerback Carlton Davis III, sending the Bucs a third-round pick for Davis and a couple of sixth round future picks.

You always need guys who can cover. The Lions also agreed to a deal with Raiders back-up Amik Robertson, who figures in nickel or dime coverages.

Detroit grabbed edge rusher Marcus Davenport from the Vikings on a one-year deal. Davenport was a first-round pick of the Saints and has 23.5 sacks, but has struggled with injuries in his career.

What Should Detroit Do Next? 

The big thing looming for the Lions as of the official start of free agency is what they do to replace starting guard Jonah Jackson who went to the Rams for a big three-year $48-million deal. There aren’t many other quality offensive linemen available.

The Lions needed Jackson, but he got a lot of interest (and a lot of money) from the Rams. Hometown discounts are rare in the NFL these days. Jackson will be hard to replace, but that’s the No. 1 priority.

Detroit also still needs a veteran back-up quarterback behind Jared Goff with Teddy Bridgewater retiring. Joe Flacco is back on the market after a solid year with the Browns, so is former Titans starter Ryan Tannehill.

Draft Day Looms 

The Final Four ends the first weekend in April, and then just watch as the sportsworld locks in on the NFL Draft in Downtown Detroit, which runs April 25-27.

Fans get annoyed during NFL free agency when their teams aren’t active early, but the truth is, bad teams are the ones who are doing the most bidding and paying in free agency. The path to true success in the NFL is good drafts and keeping your players happy.

The Lions are coming off one of their best drafts in franchise history and can use the 2024 Draft to fill any remaining holes after the free agency furor dies down.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.