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.

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1. CB Cameron Sutton

Sutton was the first move in the Lions' rebuild of their secondary last offseason, with a three-year contract befitting an easily anointed status as their No. 1 cornerback to lock down the opponent's best wide receiver.

That did not happen. Sutton had just one interception all season, including the playoffs, and he was routinely not in position to make plays on the ball as the Lions' pass defense was a notable weakness. A hidden injury could be a culprit, and he did nearly miss a game late in the regular season with a toe issue. Schematic choices by defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn could also have been a factor in his poor play. But the bottom line is Sutton was not nearly good enough in his first season as a Lion.

The structure of Sutton's contract brought a low cap hit for 2023 ($3.28 million), with matching $12.68 million cap hits in each of the last two years of the deal. That also makes it a lead-pipe lock he's not going anywhere this offseason, with dead money outpacing the cap savings for any move to part ways. Not to mention his non-existent trade value coming off a rough season.

If Sutton struggles again next season, the path for the Lions to part ways in 2025 is easier. He also has two void years in 2026 and 2027, with little bits of cap hit and dead money that will be left behind

Sutton will have a chance to rebound next season and change all the negative narrative that's around him right now. But until/unless he does so, his contract is a thing.


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