Looking ahead to 2024

Since there’s no game this week I’ve been digging around what the situation is for next season. Here’s where things stand position by position, I’m listing guys under contract, ERFAs, RFAs and UFAs from the current roster and IR, but not any of the practice squad guys because they’re a long shot to be part of the final 53 next year.

An ERFA is an exclusive rights free agent that Holmes can bring back if he wants to with no risk of the player signing elsewhere. RFAs are restricted free agents that are almost certain to be back if Holmes wants them back. UFAs are unrestricted free agents that are free to sign anywhere.

Under Contract - Goff, Hooker
UFA - Bridgewater, Sudfeld

I think we’re set here with Goff and Hooker. The only real question is when Goff gets extended and how much he gets, but that’s a question for another thread.

Under Contract - Montgomery, Gibbs
ERFA - Knight
RFA - C Reynolds
UFA - Cabinda

Reynolds will almost certainly be back as a RFA, so this room will look pretty similar next year. Holmes will only be looking for depth guys in the offseason, and might well bring back Cabinda again.

Under Contract - St Brown, Williams, Raymond, Green
UFA - J Reynolds, Peoples-Jones

Reynolds is surely going to be a priority for Holmes to resign and People-Jones has 9 weeks to audition for the WR4/5 spot. If Jamo develops then I can see no major moves here, but if he doesn’t then a big ticket WR could be on the cards in the draft or free agency.

Under Contract - LaPorta, Mitchell
RFA - Wright, Zylstra

Another room that will probably look very similar next year, Wright will surely be back and Zylstra will probably also get an opportunity to earn a roster spot

Under Contract - Decker, Sewell
UFA - Nelson, Skipper

Again, no major moves are likely here. Nelson might be back again or Holmes might look elsewhere for depth.

Under Contract - Sorsdal
ERFA - Awosika
UFA - Jackson, Vaitai, Glasgow

Obviously there are big changes coming for this position, but with Sorsdal and Awosika showing some promise while filling in this season, I wonder if one or both of them might well provide a cheap solution to the need for starting guards next year. Vaitai is surely gone and Jackson hasn’t really been missed while he’s been hurt. Glasgow has to be a priority free agent, he’s been excellent this year and his versatility is hugely valuable.

Under Contract - Ragnow

If Glasgow is re-signed then there’s not much need to do anything here other than make sure there’s someone who can snap the ball on the practice squad.

Under Contract - Hutchinson, Cominsky, Paschal
ERFA - Houston
UFA - J Okwara, R Okwara, C Harris

The top three guys and Houston will be back, so the question is whether Holmes fills out the depth again or goes big in free agency or more likely the draft to get someone to play opposite Hutch.

Under Contract - McNeill, Onwuzurike, Buggs, Martin
RFA - Jones

This group could be the same, but it could be totally different. Levi still has a lot to prove, Buggs seems to have lost the trust of the staff a little, Martin is unknown and Jones is an adequate depth player but no more. Another position where a splash move might be made to give McNeill a high level partner.

Under Contract - Anzalone, Barnes, Campbell, Rodriguez
ERFA - Nowaske
RFA - Pittman
UFA - Reeves-Maybin

This room is also very likely to look the same next year. Pittman will probably be back as a ST specialist, and the only real question mark is whether Reeves-Maybin also returns.

Under Contract - Sutton, Gilmore
ERFA - Lucas
RFA - Jacobs, Dorsey
UFA - Moseley

Jacobs will probably be back, but getting someone to play opposite Sutton is a big priority for the offseason. I doubt that guy will be Moseley, although he will be cheap so I suppose it’s possible they bring him back and sign or draft someone else.

Under Contract - Walker, Joseph, Branch, Melifonwu
UFA - Gardner-Johnson, W Harris

Not a huge need at this position, it would be nice to bring CJGJ back, and his price probably won’t be any higher, but Holmes could probably get away with just adding depth if he wanted to spend CJGJ money elsewhere as Walker and Joseph are solid starters.

Special Teams
Under Contract - Fox
ERFA - Patterson
RFA - Daly
UFA - McQuaide

Fipp and Campbell seem very high on Daly so I expect he’ll be back in preference to McQuaide, and Patterson will also be back although there surely will be a competition in camp for that position.

Cap Space - $59.5m
Ballpark Draft Picks - 25, 65, 80, 95, 165, 205, 250

You’ll see $74.6m on OTC, but there’s $15.1m of void year dead cap hits that will also count against next year’s cap, so there isn’t as much space as it seems. Still, that money will go further than it seems like it should as there’s plenty of ways to keep cap hits down while signing or extending players, and $59.5m is still more than 21 other teams. The draft picks are where various sites have our projected picks rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 for simplicity. While it’s not the first round bonanza we’ve gotten used to, it’s conceivable that Holmes can find another three starting caliber players with that haul.

Overall it’s a pretty good situation IMO. The most important players are all under contract and there’s a healthy amount of cap space and picks to replenish and improve the roster. Guard is obviously a big question mark at the moment but right now I’m leaning towards letting Jonah Jackson walk and filling both positions out of Sorsdal, Awosika, Glasgow (assuming he’s back) and a draft pick. Priority moves for me are bringing back J Reynolds, bringing back Glasgow, a CB and some top tier talent on the D-line.


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Only a few i would resign

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good shape

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UFA - J Okwara, R Okwara, C Harris of those 3 if one is kept for depth I would keep …J Okwara his would be fresh contract no more than 2 million. the other 3 an Big V will have about 11 million dead cap.

I would like to sign CJ depends on what he wants. Glasgow would be my main resign . J Okwara because of age I would attempt to keep but not over pay. Harris an his Brother are 28 time to move on. Julian is two years younger. he gives us depth an ok age.

My hopes for resign are Glasgow…Reynolds…an Peoples if he shows rest of season Major resign is Cj depends on cost…We have some PS players that might add depth also.

Mitchell Agude 6’5" 255 young edge rusher,Connor Galvin OT who showed in preseason games… Michael Niese OG he was called up for Raider game but never played. They likely will bring him back league minimum we have few others that i really don’t know much about. Mitchell Agude might help add depth OLB or rusher


Damn @Slay! You put a lot of time into that thread, Thank You for sharing your insights and doing all the homework for us diehards. It is much appreciated!


@coyote12, no cap hits on those 3, they are all UFA after 2023. Unless I’m having another Italian moment and missing something. :innocent:


The main needs presently are OG, CB, and DE.


Priority should be OLine with Glasgow and Jackson on reasonable deals. Moseley and CJGJ depend on availability. Both Reynolds are no brainer both sides.

Roster building looks pretty well with most starter locked.


Romeo has $3.5M in dead money in 2024.

Harris has almost $2M in dead money in 2024

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I suspect there’s a much higher chance Glasgow will be back than Jackson, who may command a huge contract on the open market.


If Jackson misses some other games he maybe wont get what he deserve. But I’m willing to invest in OLine so pay the man.


One thing that worries me is the schedule for next year.

GB - Bad
CHI - Bad
MIN - Ok?
LAR - Ok
SEA - Deadly
JAX - Great
TEN - Bad
MIA - Deadly

ARZ - Ok
SF - Deadly
IND - Bad
HOU - Might be good
PHI - Deadly

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Great post, Slay! Thank you.

Yes, the future is bright in DET. Holmes and Dan have not only built a very competitive roster, they did it with an eye on the future and long term success. And we’re just beginning to get a taste of what’s to come.

OG: I try and keep Jackson. I want to build a dominant OL with as much continuity as possible. Sorsdal should be ready to rock at RG next season, so his price offsets part of what Jonah will command. But, if Awosika can be the man at LG that would be a huge boon. Overall, the OL is very manageable and that’s fantastic.

CB: Need to add a star here. Just no way around it. Gilmore may develop into a starter, but the reality is CB is a numbers game because they go down so often with injury. Can’t have enough. Might as well add a top shelf prospect or talented free agent with starter potential opposite Sutton. Preferably the former. Possibly in the first round?

DE: Need to upgrade in the draft. Holmes passed on DL help at the trade deadline because he knows the better and more economical long term fix is in the draft. Rounds 1 or 2?

Overall, the Lions are young and talented with a very manageable roster and cap situation coming up. A thing of beauty!


That looks like 12-5 to me


By next year the Lions COULD be the top team in the league given the trajectory.

Who will Laporta, Branch, Gibbs and Campbell be in year 2. Scary to think.

Who will Jamo be? Will CJGJ come back on a cheap deal? Can Houston return to form as a flamethrower?

Another year of the OL becoming an even more well-oiled machine?

In the draft and/or FA: can they simply add a plus starter at boundary corner, another stud EDGE to compliment Hutch, another 3T to replace Levi?

There are far more answers than questions up and down this roster.


We won’t have a creampuff schedule in 2024, but we’ll be in the deadly category in 2024 along with the Seattle, Miami, SF and Eagles, who by then will be waning from their deadly phase, IMO.

Brad don’t do phases. He’s not a peaks-and-valleys type of guy. So I say.

Projected Salary Cap $262,243,426.00
Under Contract (33) $173,309,356.00
Void Year $ $14,311,529.00
Dead Money $931,310.00
Draft Pick Pool (7) $8,729,618.00
RFA/ERFA $ (5) $9,476,000.00 (2rd Tender Jacobs, sign all ERFAS)
Fill Roster (915k * 8) $7,320,000.00
Practice Squad $3,500,000.00
In-Season Moves $5,000,000.00
Projected Cap Space $39,665,613.00

I’ve got us with about $40m in functional cap space to resign our RFAs, UFAs, and any other FAs.

ERFAs (all likely to get picked up because why not? They’re dirt cheap): Kayode Awosika, Riley Patterson, Zonovan Knight, James Houston, Chase Lucas

RFAs: Jerry Jacobs (expecting 2rd tender), Brock Wright, Benito Jones, Craig Reynolds, Scott Daly, Shane Zylstra, Anthony Pittman, Khalil Dorsey

UFAs: Jonah Jackson, Will Harris, Josh Reynolds, Donovan-People’s Jones, Matt Nelson, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Julian Okwara, Dan Skipper, Nate Sudfeld, Jason Cabinda

Contracts that are cut friendly - just $ freed up, not what I expect: Goff (30m), Decker (9.8m), Walker (5.5m), Commish (4.5m), Levi (1.7m), Buggs (2.3m), Iffy (1.2m)


Either bring back glasgow or they might need to draft a center in the first 3 rds to backup and prepare for ragnow only playing part of the season and perhaps having only a few years left.

He is tough as nails but that injury might shorten his career.

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