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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2. WR DJ Chark

As Chark lingered available for a while into free agency last offseason, it seemed possible he would just be back with the Lions. He ultimately signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Carolina Panthers, which proved the Lions had no intention to bring him back and may not have made him an offer even to that level.

The Panthers added him and Adam Thielen to their wide receiver corps, as they moved toward drafting a quarterback first overall in the draft.

That quarterback was of course Bryce Young, who struggled (to put it mildly) during his rookie season. A poor offensive line and a lack of passing game weapons outside of Thielen (who faded late), did Young no favors.

Its incredibly telling that Chark's best yardage and target game last season (86 yards, 11 targets against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3) came when Andy Dalton started in place of an injured Young. 47 of those yards came on a touchdown, which was clearly Chark's most explosive play of the entire season.

Chark did have five touchdowns last season, tying the second-highest total of his career, but his other numbers (35 receptions for 525 yards, 53 percent catch rate) were more dismal. His strength as a downfield receiver was simply not a match with Young.

Chark may not have had any other options in free agency by the time the Panthers signed him. But he'd surely like a do-over, and at least sign with a team that wasn't going to have an overmatched rookie quarterback.