3 contracts holding the Detroit Lions back right now

The Detroit Lions don't have many bad contracts on the books, but these three are some level of an issue right now.

/ Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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2. S Tracy Walker

Walker became a non-entity for the Lions over the course of the 2023 season. He made a speedy recovery from a torn Achilles' early in the 2022 season, but his starting job was taken away by the signing of C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Then Gardner-Johnson's torn pectoral put the former team captain back into the starting lineup.

Walker then had some ups and downs, as could be expected coming off a major injury. Ifeatu Melinfonwu replaced him in the starting lineup from Week 14 on, and played very well. Walker barely played as the regular season wound down, and he was a healthy scratch for all three playoff games.

Walker has the third-highest 2024 cap number for the Lions right now ($12.82 million). A contract restructure to keep him around is possible, but that doesn't change the fact he's buried on the depth chart barring something unforeseen.

Even a post-June 1 cut would leave behind $4.8 million in dead money. Walker may have some appeal to other teams as a trade target, but even that would leave behind some dead money for the Lions.

Walker is entering the final year of his contract, which is an overall plus for the Lions. But the money he'll carry regardless of what happens this offseason is noticeable. He's also got a void year in 2025 that will carry a $2.5 million dead money hit.