Once they inevitably release Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the Detroit Lions could land one of these free agents to replace him at right guard.
As the last bad contract given out by the previous regime, and coming off missing the entire 2022 season with a back injury, it should only be a matter of time before the Detroit Lions cut guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai. It just comes down to the mechanics of the move, as a pre or post-June 1 cut, and the cap implications therein.
With the free agent negotiating window opening Monday, the Lions should be announcing a move with Vaitai soon. A contract restructure is possible, but they’ve already done it with him and doing so again seems foolish.
It’s better to just cut the cord and move on.
Evan Brown filled in capably for Vaitai last season when he was healthy. He is now a free agent, and was in line to have a healthy market even before NFL reporter Aaron Wilson confirmed as much. So Brown is in line to be gone, and so would go a potential easy replacement for Vaitai.
So the Lions will likely be left to look outside the organization for a new right guard. No, Logan Stenberg is not an option, or at least not a good one. An immediate starter could be found in the draft, but at least some cursory interest in whoever is on the free agent market would be a good idea.
Assuming the inevitable move to cut Vaitai, here are five free agent guards the Lions could sign to replace him.