Stay or Go: What should Detroit Lions do with key 2023 free agents? Vote now

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions have plenty of decisions to make this offseason, as they prepare for Year 3 of the Dan Campbell-Brad Holmes era. They must keep the momentum trending upwards after an 8-2 finish to the 2022 season, and have plenty of ammo with cap space and two first-round picks to do so.

It all officially begins next Wednesday, March 15, with the start of the new league year and NFL free agency 2023. (Players cut by their previous team can sign anytime.)

What fan doesn’t like to play general manager of their favorite team?

We’re giving you — the fans — the power to make the call.

What should the Lions do with their 15 pending unrestricted free agents?

Vote below and check back Monday for a new story on the results.

TRENDING:Lions backup QB options: Why Teddy Bridgewater may be best fit in NFL free agency

DAVE BIRKETT:Ranking the Lions’ unrestricted free agents. Who should be the priority?

*Age as of Oct. 1, 2023

QB Nate Sudfeld

Age: 29.

Stats: Appeared in two games last season, did not attempt a pass.

Notes: Sudfeld has never started a game in his NFL career. Holmes recently said the Lions are prioritizing backup quarterback this offseason (here are seven fits).

RB Jamaal Williams

Age: 28.

Stats: Ran for 1,066 yards on 262 carries (4.1 yards per carry) and a franchise single-season record 17 touchdowns in 17 games (nine starts).

Notes: One of the most dependable players on the roster and an emotional leader who runs with physicality. Running backs notoriously have short NFL careers, but Williams might have a few more good years left since he was a rotational player most of his six-year career (8.3 carries per game with Green Bay; 13.8 with Lions).

RB Justin Jackson

Age: 27.

Stats: Rushed for 170 yards on 42 carries, caught 12 passes for 101 yards in 16 games; 26.7-yard average on 23 kickoff returns.

Notes: The former seventh-round pick out of Northwestern has produced when given opportunities over his five-year career, and contributes on third down. Finished fourth among 15 qualified players in kick return average.

WR DJ Chark

Age: 27.

Stats: 30 catches for 502 yards (16.7 yards per reception) and three touchdowns in 11 games.

Notes: Missed six straight games in the first half of the season with an ankle injury, but had three games of 90-plus yards upon returning.

OL Evan Brown

Age: 27.

Stats: Started 12 games for the second consecutive season, this time at right guard.

Notes: Offers versatility as an interior lineman with good starting experience at center and guard.

DT Isaiah Buggs

Age: 27.

Stats: Had 46 total tackles (21 solo) in 17 games, one sack.

Notes: Proved to be a nice pre-training camp pickup as an anchor of a run defender. Didn’t generate any tackles for loss, but did have 10 quarterback hits.

DE Austin Bryant

Age: 26.

Stats: Nine total tackles in nine games, zero sacks.

Notes: A healthy inactive for the final five games of the season. Fourth-round pick in 2019 under the previous regime, had all 4½ career sacks in 2021.

DE John Cominsky

Age: 27.

Stats: 30 total tackles (18 solo), five TFLs and four sacks in 14 games (eight starts).

Notes: Became a key part of the Lions’ defensive line, playing end and tackle, and was part of the pass rush package on third downs. Had 12 QB hits.

LB Alex Anzalone

Age: 29.

Stats: Team-leading 125 tackles (78 solo) in 17 starts, seven TFLs, 1½ sacks, one INT, one forced fumble.

Notes: Had a career-best season and a defensive captain credited by coaches with the development of rookie Malcolm Rodriguez.

LB Chris Board

Age: 28.

Stats: 21 total tackles (17 solo) in 17 games.

Notes: A core special teams player who played 14% of the defensive snaps (160) with some value as a coverage linebacker.

TRENDING:Lions special teams could lose key players in free agency: What to watch

LB Josh Woods

Age: 27.

Stats: Had 14 total tackles (10 solo) all on special teams in 17 games.

Notes: One of the league’s better special teamers, led Lions (and tied for seventh in the NFL) in special teams tackles; doesn’t play on defense.

CB Amani Oruwariye

Age: 27.

Stats: 44 total tackles (36 solo) and three passes defensed in 14 games (five starts).

Notes: Fell down the depth chart on one of the worst pass defenses, with 11 penalties and 106.1 passer rating against.

CB Mike Hughes

Age: 26.

Stats: 51 total tackles (35 solo), one pass defensed, three TFLs in 16 games (six starts).

Notes: A former first-round pick by Minnesota in 2018, Hughes fits best as an outside cornerback, where he played better down the stretch.

CB/S Will Harris

Age: 27.

Stats: 57 total tackles (44 solo), four passes defensed, one INT, one FF in 15 games (10 starts).

Notes: The former third-round pick in 2019 played better after converting from safety to slot corner in the offseason.

S DeShon Elliott

Age: 26.

Stats: 96 total tackles (73 solo), five TFLs, three passes defensed, one INT, one FF in 14 games (13 starts).

Notes: Might get the largest contract out of all the Lions’ free agents after a productive year starting.

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