3 Detroit Lions free agents who could be forced into retirement

These three free agents probably won't be coming back with the Detroit Lions , and there's a chance their NFL careers are just going to be over.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Lions have already re-signed two of their own free agents, kicker Michael Badgley and linebacker/special teams ace Jalen Reeves-Maybin. We also know last year's No. 2 quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, is retiring to become the head coach at his high school alma mater.

A look at the list of Lions' free agents invites some questions over who will be re-signed, even as general manager Brad Holmes prioritizes retaining their own. There are plenty of others who are unlikely to be back, for performance reasons. Cornerback Khalil Dorsey, who was a exclusive rights free agent, will reportedly not be tendered a contract and will become a free agent.

For some other Lions' free agents, they won't be back in Detroit and the market for their services elsewhere may not be great. Or it may even be non-existent. So their football playing careers may just wind up being over, if they can't find a new team and the Lions don't want them back.

When it comes down to it, these three Lions' free agents may be forced into retirement this offseason.

3 Detroit Lions free agents who might be forced to retire

3. QB Nate Sudfeld

Sudfeld spent the 2023 season on IR after suffering a torn ACL in the Lions' preseason finale. He appeared in two games as Jared Goff's backup in 2022, without a pass attempt.

With David Blough, like Bridgewater, retiring to enter coaching and Hendon Hooker currently in line to be the No. 2 quarterback next season, there's an angle where re-signing Sudfeld based on his experience with the Lions' offense makes sense-as Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit laid out.

At this point, about six months out from the injury, where Sudfeld is in his ACL recovery is unclear. If the Lions want to add an experienced No. 3/emergency quarterback to the mix, and they surely will at some point, there are healthier (if not better) options out there. Other teams can say the same.

Since being drafted in 2016, Sudfeld has 37 career regular season pass attempts (14 since 2018). Now, he's coming off a major injury.

$11.6 million in career earnings is pretty good for someone who basically has a game worth of pass attempts in eight seasons, and Sudfeld might just be done.