4 free agents the Detroit Lions should easily be willing to let leave

Credit: Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Credit: Cooper Neill/Getty Images /
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Credit: Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Stevens Point (WI) Journal
Credit: Tork Mason/USA TODAY NETWORK-Stevens Point (WI) Journal /

1. CB Amani Oruwariye

After looking like a budding shutdown corner in 2021, as he had six interceptions and looked like a building block for the Lions’ secondary, Oruwariye was eventually benched this season. And when he did get on the field later in the season, he became someone opposing quarterbacks found and targeted. And often targeted successfully.

What exactly plagued Oruwariye this season is unclear. It may have been a hidden injury, but the league’s rules and consequences for not reporting injuries make that unlikely on the Lions’ end. The league’s increased focus on illegal contact seemed to be a thing early. Being in line for a contract extension off his breakout 2021 season, and any pressure he may have been putting on himself, was dismissed as non-physical thing impacting his performance, but that’s to be expected.

During the Lions’ strong closing stretch from Week 9 on, Oruwariye only played a noticable amount of defensive snaps when injuries or illness forced no other choice. That’s as telling as anything else about his 2022 season. He was not part of a winning formula, as the Lions’ defense generally played better–and played better without him, even as other cornerbacks struggled.

The Lions may make a token one-year offer to Oruwariye, while crossing their fingers he doesn’t take it. They are definitely glad they slow-played the idea of a contract extension for him last offseason. Otherwise they’d be paying pretty good money moving forward to one of the worst cornerbacks in the league this season–at least early when he was playing enough for his ineptitude to be noticed and spotlighted that is.

Oruwariye too-easily takes the No. 1 spot on this list.

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