3 former Detroit Lions who failed with their new teams in 2023

These former Detroit Lions did not do well elsewhere last season.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Lions carried great momentum into the 2023 offseason, after winning eight of their final 10 games in 2022. Starting with some solid moves in free agency, and a draft class that exceeded even the best early expectations, they made it to the NFC Championship Game.

But as the Lions have risen, there are of course players who were not kept around to see the payoff of last season, or see what may be to come. General manager Brad Holmes has placed great priority on "keeping our own", but that's rooted in players he has drafted and who have developed in Detroit.

There aren't may better places to play in the NFL than Detroit right now, and these three players may not have wanted to leave. But they were indeed gone, and things did not go well for them on their new teams last season.

3 former Detroit Lions who failed with their new teams during the 2023 season

3. CB Jeff Okudah

Okudah's failure in Detroit after being drafted third overall in 2020 was rooted in things outside his control-bad coaching (Matt Patricia), and injuries (notably a torn Achilles that cost him basically all of the 2021 season). Last offseason, there's no way his fifth-year option for 2024 was going to be picked up, and the additions made in free agency (Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley) made a trade all but certain.

Okudah was sent to the Atlanta Falcons last April for a fifth-round pick in the 2023 draft. He played 13 games (nine starts) for Atlanta last season, missing a bit of time with injuries again, with 44 total tackles, zero interceptions and three pass breakups.

The flash of potential Okudah showed early in the 2022 season with the Lions has proven to be just that. A flash, and not a sign he would push toward reaching the potential driven by his draft position.

The Falcons probably didn't have huge expectations for Okudah. But he did not perform well, as he now hits free agency.