| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Lions offseason: How will they handle franchise tag, free agency?
Free Press sports writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez preview the big decisions the Detroit Lions need to make this offseason.
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press
Pro Bowl punter Jack Fox isn’t going anywhere.
The Detroit Lions tendered Fox and two other exclusive rights free agents contracts Thursday, ensuring they stay in Detroit this offseason.
Fox finished second in the NFL with a 44.8-yard net punting average and made the Pro Bowl last fall. He went undrafted out of Rice in 2019 and spent part of that season on the Lions’ practice squad before winning a training camp battle with Arryn Siposs last summer.
The Lions had one of the best punting units in the NFL last season. Fox had seven touchbacks in 59 punts and handled most kickoff duties for the Lions.
Exclusive rights free agents cannot negotiate with other teams if they are tendered minimum contract offers.
The Lions also tendered fullback/linebacker Jason Cabinda and offensive tackle Matt Nelson as ERFAs.
Cabinda, who switched from linebacker to fullback last season, was a core special teams players for the Lions, while Nelson, a converted defensive lineman, saw time as a backup offensive tackle.
The Lions have 18 unrestricted free agents, including wide receiver Kenny Golladay, and one restricted free agent (cornerback Mike Ford). They could use the franchise tag on Golladay.
Free agency opens March 17.