2024 NFL Free Agency: Will the Detroit Lions use the franchise tag?

As free agency approaches, will the Detroit Lions use the franchise tag on anyone?

NFL free agency is a little over a month away from starting, and the Detroit Lions have some notable decisions to among 20 unrestricted free agents. Some may simply seek and find more years and money elsewhere, forcing the Lions to pivot to other options if they're not willing to meet that price.

Since the advent of the franchise tag, the Lions have used it just four times ever.

It's a one-year fully guaranteed investment, based on the average of the top-five salaries at a position, with either exclusive or non-exclusive designations as it relates to the control a player's original team has over his ability to negotiate with other teams. There is also a transition tag available, but that is rarely used since it doesn't entitle a player's original team to draft pick compensation if they don't match another team's offer.

As a launch point to the franchise tag discussion this year for the Lions, here's a reminder of who their 20 unrestricted free agents are.

  • Tyson Alualu, DL
  • Michael Badgley, K
  • Teddy Bridgewater, QB
  • Anthony Firkser, TE
  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson, DB
  • Graham Glasgow, OG/C
  • Charles Harris, EDGE
  • Will Harris, DB
  • Jonah Jackson, OG
  • Jake McQuaide, LS
  • Emmanuel Moseley, CB
  • Matt Nelson, OT
  • Romeo Okwara, DE
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR
  • Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB
  • Josh Reynolds, WR
  • Dan Skipper, OT
  • Nate Sudfeld, QB
  • Halapoulivaati Vaitai,

Bridgewater is of course retiring to take the head coaching job at his high school alma mater, and a second straight season impacted by a back injury puts retirement in play for Vaitai.

Going further, who could be the franchise tag candidates on this list? Jackson? Glasgow? Gardner-Johnson? And based on the salaries that would be locked in absent a multi-year deal by mid-July, they are not happening.

On that note, in their attempt to name a 2024 franchise tag candidate for every team, Pro Football Focus has no one for the Lions.

So, if only because they have no one who makes any sense for it, the Lions will go another year without using the franchise tag this year.

6 Detroit Lions free agents who will not be back in 2024. dark. Next. 6 Detroit Lions free agents who will not be back in 2024