3 2024 Detroit Lions free agents who have already earned another contract

There's obviously still a lot of time left in this season, but these three looming free agents for the Detroit Lions have already earned themselves a new contract.

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1. LG Jonah Jackson

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the Lions are about to love Jackson immensely when he returns to action (Week 13 against the Saints?). He has missed five of the last six games, the first three (Week 6-8) with a low ankle sprain and the last two (with the short week surely a factor) with a wrist injury.

Rookie Colby Sorsdal, a right tackle this time last year at William & Mary, has started the last two games in Jackson's place at left guard and he has finished among the Lions' lowest graded players by Pro Football Focus both times. He was benched for the second half against the Packers on Thanksgiving Day, and replacement Kayode Awosika was not any better (actually worse by PFF grade).

Jackson has said he wants to be in Detroit for his entire career, and the one-time Pro Bowler (2021) has been an underrated key part of one of the best offensive lines in the league. Some fans may want to question his willingness to play through injuries, which is flimsy at best. Especially in a contract year, with a lot on the line if he misses games. And he has still started nearly 84 percent (51 of 61) of possible games in his four-year career.

Jackson entered the season lined up to be one of the top free agent interior offensive lineman available next March, and presumably not much has changed even with his missed games thus far. His value might just be greatest to the Lions, which as mentioned has been proven in his absence.

It's fair to assume the Lions won't let Jackson hit the open market without making a nice contract offer between now and mid-March. It would be a shock if he's not around a few more years after this one, and paid handsomely.

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