These 10 2023 Detroit Lions remain unsigned entering OTAs

USA Today

We’re deep into the NFL offseason now, with OTAs firing up around the league. The 2024 NFL Draft and the first two months of free agency are history, with teams acquiring a new influx of talent to help bolster the rosters.

Some veteran players, alas, have fallen through the cracks. That group includes several Detroit Lions from the 2023 season whose contracts expired after the team’s romp to the NFC Championship game.


S Tracy Walker

Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker III takes a selfie with fans after the 31-26 win over the Chicago Bears at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023.

Walker was Detroit’s longest-tenured defensive player last season but finished as a healthy scratch multiple weeks.

OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Detroit Lions guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (72) walks off the field with the help of team staff due to an injury during the second half against Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.

Vaitai’s litany of injuries has made it difficult to find a team and could force the big vet into retirement.

EDGE Charles Harris

Aug 28, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubiski (10) is brought down by Detroit Lions defensive linemen Charles Harris (53) and Aidan Hutchinson (97) during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Harris went from team captain to healthy scratch over the course of 2023.

EDGE Romeo Okwara

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 06: Romeo Okwara #95 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after forcing a fumble against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field on December 06, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Okwara spent six seasons in Detroit but didn’t top 250 snaps on defense in any of the last three. He’s still just 28 years old.

DT Tyson Alualu

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 07: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions celebrates after a play with Tyson Alualu #92 of the Detroit Lions during the second half in the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on January 07, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Alualu joined the Lions late in the year but quickly moved into the starting lineup in the postseason. The 14-year vet turned 37 earlier this May.

LS Jake McQuaide

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 21: Jake McQuaide #43 of the Detroit Lions leaves the field following a victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Ford Field on January 21, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

McQuaide, 36, served as Detroit’s long snapper in the final nine games and also the postseason.

TE Anthony Firkser

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta (left) and tight end Anthony Firkser (86) warm up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Another vet who joined the Lions late in the year as an injury fill-in, Firkser caught one pass in five total games in Detroit.

CB Jerry Jacobs

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 08: Jerry Jacobs #23 of the Detroit Lions reacts during the second half against the Carolina Panthers at Ford Field on October 08, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Jacobs started 12 games and picked off three passes, but the Lions opted to not tender the 26-year-old as a restricted free agent. Jacobs has taken recent free agent visits with a handful of teams but remains unsigned.

RB Mo Ibrahim

Oct 22, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Detroit Lions running back Mohamed Ibrahim (35) raises his hands as he is carted off the field during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ibrahim suffered a scary injury on his very first NFL touch, a kick return against the Ravens.

QB Teddy Bridgewater

Detroit Lions quarterback Teddy Bridgewater wavers at fans during warm up before the Denver Broncos game at Ford Field in Detroit on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023.

Bridgewater retired immediately after the season and is already coaching high school football at his alma mater in Miami.

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