Keeper: Ryan Pope, Offensive Tackle
The six-foot, seven-inch tall offensive tackle is blessed with great football size. As an undrafted player out of San Diego State, Pope has some big upside if he can improve. A huge issue for the Detroit Lions is what to do with their high-priced tackles that are in front of Pope.
Rick Wagner and Taylor Decker will both be coming up for new contracts within the next couple of years. The Detroit Lions need a few options ready to go if they’re going to solve their line problems without throwing huge amounts of money at Decker, in particular. Wagner is already being paid at a top-five salary rate for his position, right tackle, averaging $9.5 million dollars per year.
Decker, due to his status as a starting left tackle, would likely ask for in excess of $12 million dollars, perhaps even asking to be paid as the top-paid tackle in the NFL. Right now, Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans averages $16 million per year, which is the highest pay for a tackle. With that kind of cash being demanded by top players the Lions would be wise to have some other options available.
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