Detroit Lions: Is Taylor Decker worth keeping long term?

Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Taylor Decker, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

A franchise left tackle in the NFL comes at a premium price. Are the Detroit Lions going to keep theirs beyond his current contract?

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Detroit Lions‘ left tackle Taylor Decker is the subject of debate. The front office has yet to make a decision on whether or not to exercise his fifth year option. Does this mean his future is in question?

Just by looking at his play, Decker is by no means a top-tier lineman. At best, he’s a mid-level player.

Playing and starting in all 16 games was a nice accomplishment and something the former Ohio State Buckeyes product hadn’t done since his rookie season. Unfortunately, 2018 wasn’t nearly as successful as his first year in the league (2016) where he missed zero snaps.

Last season, Decker allowed 7.0 sacks. That’s not acceptable. He also contributed three false starts and two holding penalties. There was a noticeable decline in his play after getting injured mid-season (Week 7 and 8) and it most likely lingered the rest of the year.

There’s too many good examples of slightly above-average left tackles getting overpaid. The market dictates roughly $13-16 million for the top available player at that position. Sorry, the Lions shouldn’t gamble nor waste their salary cap on okay talent. If someone’s not playing that well, why overpay?

I understand the angle of not wanting to create another hole. The odds of finding someone better than Decker isn’t in Detroit’s favor, but that’s still not a good enough reason to settle for him or any player for that matter. Forking over money that’s not well deserved at the time of the signing usually doesn’t pan out well.

This season is huge for this offensive line overall. Everyone needs to prove they’re worth keeping around and play at a higher level.

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Taylor Decker could very well prove himself worthy of a huge contract to stay with the Detroit Lions. My hope is he does play up to his draft status but don’t count on it. Nothing is set in stone as far as his future with this franchise.