Lions Veteran Sees Contract Place Amongst Best in NFL for Next Season

Taylor Decker

Getty Taylor Decker blocks for D'Andre Swift in a 2020 game in Tennessee.

In the last few years, the Detroit Lions have been working hard to turn around their fortunes, and a big way they are trying to do this is by getting some better contracts on the books.

Detroit has been smart with the extensions and has found a way to get the right players into the mix in order to build for the future. They’ve also managed to get this done sensibly with solid deals that have helped position their salary cap in elite fashion for the future.

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Perhaps the best deal they’ve done lately was for Taylor Decker, an offensive lineman from the 2016 draft class. Decker looked solid in Detroit while proving himself and as a result, got rewarded with a new contract. It’s a deal that stands out as a valuable one for the Lions and an example of a savvy move.

Pro Football Focus and Brad Spielberger took a look at picking out the top 32 contracts in the league for 2022 that are team-friendly, and Decker’s pact with Detroit placed on the list. It came in at 13th overall. While Spielberger did not offer analysis for Detroit’s top deal, it was reminded in the piece that Decker’s contract is a four-year, $58.3 million dollar pact, with three years and $42.65 million in cash remaining.

When the Lions brought Decker back, it was on the heels of a solid season in 2020. Decker saw injury slow him down early in 2021, but he returned for a big finish to the year and is looking to be in prime position to continue to be impressive on the field with a revitalized line in 2022.

The sensible deal with Decker, done by Bob Quinn Detroit’s former general manager, is seen as one of the top contracts in the league for the value it provides the team and player.

Decker’s Re-Signing Sets the Tone for Lions

When Decker came back into the mix on his new contract, it set in motion a few year run of the team rewarding their top talent and making sure they stuck around before heading to free agency. Decker committed to Detroit ahead of the team’s most recent rebuild on this contract, and arguably, he was the one who put this current mindset into motion. Since, the Lions have re-signed the likes of Charles Harris, Tracy Walker, Romeo Okwara, Frank Ragnow, Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds. They could also look poised to get another deal done in the future with tight end T.J. Hockenson in the coming months.

Through everything, Decker has maintained he wants to see things through in Detroit, and keeping a player like that around can be very good business for a team.

Decker Getting Healthy Before 2022 Season

In terms of his own future on the field, there is a lot to like about Decker in 2022 that could keep his contract looking like a value, especially when he is healthy. Decker sustained a foot injury in the last week of the 2021-22 season, and it’s something which has lingered a bit into the offseason. At this point, though, the injury isn’t critical or something that will keep him off the field long-term.

Speaking with the media on Wednesday, May 26, Decker updated his own health and explained why he was sidelined. As he said, it was largely a precautionary measure.

Detroit Lions Media Availability: May 26, 2022 | Taylor DeckerWatch Detroit Lions offensive tackle Taylor Decker speak to the media May 26, 2022. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit Follow: Follow: Like:

“Basically, the opinion I got was it’s something that’s going to get better, it’s just kind of a pain in the a**. “We’ll just take a little bit of time, so just being smart about it right now so when it comes time (and) the bullets are flying and we really got to play, it’s not even a thought,” he told the media.

As Decker confirmed, he could play if he had to, but the fact that this is early in the offseason might only benefit his ability to be ready when the season kicks off for real and training camp gets going later on this summer.

“It’s just kind of a be smart maintenance thing talking with the training staff and the coaches right now so hopefully, come time for camp, it’s no issue (to) hit the ground running (and be) good to go,” he said. “That’s the game plan, and that’s what it’s trending towards, so if there was a game 100% I’d play today, yeah,”

Decker remains a grinder and a gamer, and the kind of player the Lions were wise to build around. Seeing his contract receive this much praise is a good look for Detroit.

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