Full list of the 2023 Detroit Lions free agents

Pride of Detroit

The Detroit Lions have a long, exciting offseason ahead of them. With a lot of resources—including two first and second-round picks—general manager Brad Holmes has a golden opportunity to take this team to the next level.

But as we know about Holmes, it’s just as important to him to retain talent as it is to add talent. And before the start of the new league year, Holmes will have a lot of decisions to make on his own roster. In total, the Lions have 28 free agents heading into the 2023 offseason.

Here’s a look at the players on expiring contracts:

Unrestricted free agents (18)

The following list is of players whose contracts will expire at the start of the new league year on March 15. These players are unrestricted because they have at least four years of NFL experience.

The Lions are able to negotiate with these players for a new contract at any time. Other teams will be able to negotiate with these players starting on March 13, during what has been widely referred to as the “legal tampering period.”

The Lions have 18 unrestricted free agents, which is considerably more than last year’s 13. It’s worth noting that last year, of those 13 free agents, the Lions re-signed seven of them.

  • QB Nate Sudfeld
  • RB Jamaal Williams
  • RB Justin Jackson
  • WR DJ Chark
  • OT Dan Skipper
  • G/C Evan Brown
  • DT Isaiah Buggs
  • EDGE John Cominsky
  • EDGE Austin Bryant
  • LB Alex Anzalone
  • LB Chris Board
  • LB Josh Woods
  • CB Will Harris
  • CB Mike Hughes
  • CB Amani Oruwariye
  • S DeShon Elliott
  • S C.J. Moore
  • K Michael Badgley

Restricted free agents (3)

Restricted free agents (RFAs) are players on contracts that will expire on March 15 but have exactly three accrued seasons in the NFL. The Lions can negotiate a normal contract with these players at any time, but they can also offer qualifying tenders (first-round tenders, second-round tenders, original-round tenders) that are at a set value. Those players can either choose to sign those tenders or test free agency. If they reach an agreement with another team, the Lions can choose to either match that offer, or let the player walk and receive draft pick compensation matching the tender. More information on that here.

Here are the Lions’ three RFAs:

  • OT Matt Nelson
  • C Ross Pierschbacher
  • DB Bobby Price

Exclusive rights free agents (7)

Exclusive rights free agents (ERFAs) are players on expiring contracts who have two or fewer years in the NFL. The Lions will be able to offer these players exclusive tenders valued around the league minimum. If the Lions offer any of these players those tenders, the players have only two options: sign the tender or sit out the 2023 season. Typically, the majority of these players are re-signed. Last year, the Lions brought back all 16 of their ERFAs.

  • RB Craig Reynolds
  • TE Brock Wright
  • TE Shane Zylstra
  • G Tommy Kraemer
  • DT Benito Jones
  • LB Anthony Pittman
  • LS Scott Daly

Note: The contract status of WR Trinity Benson is unclear. Terms for his contract when Detroit signed him off the Broncos practice squad in November are unknown. Spotrac has him listed as an ERFA, OverTheCap says he’s signed through 2023 but has him on the Broncos, then on the official Detroit Lions website, he is not listed as a free agent at all.


We have the full overview of the Lions roster and current contract situations in our 2023 Detroit Lions depth chart/contract tracker.

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