Todays Lions News: Jonah Jackson Leaving In Free Agency? Trade For Brian Burns + C.J Gardner-Johnson

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Offensively, the key player to re-sign for the Detroit Lions is Jonah Jackson, who has been one of their best interior offensive linemen ever since the team selected him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

A league source said both sides were not close to an agreement to begin last season, but that doesn’t mean Detroit won’t look to re-sign him before free agency starts. They clearly don’t have his potential replacement on its 90-man offseason roster.

Veteran receiver Josh Reynolds, even if the team re-signs him, is expected to be replaced as a full-time starter by third-year WR Jameson Williams. Willliams, a first-round pick in 2021, barely played as a rookie but saw extended playing time during the second half of last season. And as team source told us, he’s the most explosive player on the team.

Defensively, things got so shaky at cornerback that Kindle Vildor, who was released from the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad in Week 11, wound up starting for the Lions for five games, including all three playoff games.

While he was a nice story for the team, Detroit must significantly address this position, and that’s the expectation whether it’s free agency or in the draft.

At safety, veteran Tracy Walker is a candidate for a paycut or release. Once a starter, he was replaced in the lineup last season and carries a $12.8 million salary cap number to go along with a non-guaranteed base salary of $8 million.

And with S Ifeatu Melifonwu’s 2023 breakout season and third-year pro Kerby Joseph solidly entrenched at the other spot, C.J. Gardner-Johnson may have to look elsewhere for a starting job. What will help Gardner-Johnson garner interest is his versatility (safety or nickel), but he has missed 19 games due to injury over the past two seasons.

5 reasons the Detroit Lions will make the Super Bowl in 2024
1. The coaching staff is (mostly) back
2. There’s little reason to expect regression
3. The best NFC teams are due to regress
4. The Lions’ core is young and talented
5. The NFC quarterback situation is far from scary

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Berreman suggested the Lions trade for Burns after the Panthers place the franchise tag on the defensive end this offseason.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on November 4 that the Panthers turned down trade offers for Burns. But if Carolina began entertaining offers now, Berreman proposed the Lions send their No. 29 overall pick for Burns.

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