4. Trade or release Michael Brockers
Brockers has intangible value as a veteran leader, and for what it’s worth he believes the Lions can be a playoff contender next season. If he brings that belief into the locker room, that can’t be discounted as an influence on a young, developing team. But…
Upon acquiring him from the Rams last offseason, the Lions gave Brockers a new three-year contract. That gives him a cap hit close to $9 million for 2022 ($8.975 million), which is the sixth-highest cap hit on the team right now.
Brockers impact on the field was simply not significant in 2021. He had just one sack (zero after Week 2), with one quarterback hit and four tackles for loss (none of the latter after Week 11). Add that lack of pass rush impact to being a prominent player on what was a bad run defense, and you get a player not fully worth his financial cost.
A designation of Brockers as a post-June 1 cut or a trade at any point is the most advantageous move for the Lions salary cap-wise. Maybe he’d restructure (take a pay cut) to stay, but finding a way to part ways amicably has to be on Detroit’s radar.