Lions Cap Space: Where Detroit Stands After Free Agency Flurry

Brad Holmes

Getty Lions general manager Brad Holmes on the field during training camp in 2021.

The Detroit Lions have not been huge spenders in free agency so far, and that has left the team with more than a little scratch with which to operate with the rest of the offseason.

Even though the Lions have made some signings, the team hasn’t dipped into their cap space much if at all in order to get it done. Detroit still has a top 10 total in the league at this point for cap space, which is good for their future prospects.

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As a new graphic making the rounds on the internet showed last week, the Lions have a beefy total left to spend, in the neighborhood of $20,015,450. That’s good for a top-six total within the league.

To see the Lions in this spot is not surprising at all. Detroit has not spent wildly in free agency nor maxed out their credit card so to speak. To that end, they’ve done a nice job to make key additions but not waste money or jeopardize their future. Detroit has enough left over that they could still make a play for a player if they wanted that is a surprise release or make an offseason trade.

How Lions Could Approach Free Agency Rest of 2022

The Lions have chosen a more cautious approach thus far and have targeted mostly their own free agents. After signing players like Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, Charles Harris, Alex Anzalone and Tracy Walker, Detroit looked outside the home for some value buys. The Lions signed DJ Chark to a one-year deal, in addition to names like linebacker Jarrad Davis, cornerback Mike Hughes, tight end Garrett Griffin and linebacker Chris Board. All of those players were solid upside buys for the Lions in terms of players who could come in on short contracts and perhaps play their way into a role for the future. With this in mind, don’t expect the Lions to go out and burn all the cash. The team is more likely to find a way to keep as much space under the cap as possible for the future.

Don’t expect there to be any bigger signings for the Lions the rest of the offseason. Brad Holmes seems committed to his plan.

Lions’ 2022 NFL Draft Plan Revolves Around Adding Depth

Some of this money will be allotted to signing the team’s new draft class, which is likely how the Lions will handle the rest of the offseason before potential bargain buys in June or August for the roster. In terms of who might be drafted there seems to be no shortage of options or ideas for the Lions at this point. It’s fair to expect the Lions will look to boost up the team’s defense, even if they go in a different direction early on and don’t select a defensive lineman. The safety or cornerback spot could be upgraded, and the team needs to find some good depth at linebacker as well. On the offensive side of the ball, the Lions clearly need another wideout to add to a rising group, and quarterback could be in play for the team as well given the dynamic at that position with Jared Goff looking like a placeholder in Detroit. The Lions have nine draft picks with which to work, so there will be more players added to the mix to help serve as fixes for a needy roster.

After a modest free agency period, the Lions could be expected to use the draft as their main avenue for improvement in 2022. The Lions struggled with players filling roles in 2021, so the more players they have to fill out their depth for next season the better off they will be when the draft comes around.

Don’t expect too many bigger additions, but the Lions should have space for something if a situation arises.

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