4 former Detroit Lions who won't live up to their new contracts

These four former Detroit Lions players got lofty contracts this offseason, and they'll have a very hard time living up to them.

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2. OG Jonah Jackson

Team/Contract: Los Angeles Rams/Three years, $51 million; $34 million guaranteed

A free agent market that was rumored to be set to be booming for guards, and ultimately was, paved the path for Jackson to leave the Lions this offseason. The Rams ponied up, among what was likely to have been multiple suitors, with a nice three-year deal that is essentially a two-year commitment. He will of course reunite with Matthew Stafford, who he blocked for as a rookie in 2020.

Jackson followed earning a Pro Bowl nod as alternate in 2021 with another solid season in 2022. But he did miss four games that season, which set the stage for a 2023 season where he missed five regular season games and the NFC title game with three different injuries (ankle, wrist, knee). When he was on the field, he did not play particularly well, especially in pass protection (60.7 PFF grade).

Jackson is now one of the 10 highest-paid guards in the NFL, by any measure you want for 2024. The Rams are betting on a pretty notable rebound from last season (rooted in better availability) during his age-27, 28 and 29 seasons. Which might happen since he theoretically has some peak years left.

Again, we should never lament an NFL player getting paid big when he can. The Lions aren't going to be able to pay everyone moving forward. It's fair to assume they drew a line with Jackson, if they even seriously entered negotiations, knowing they could replace him one way or another and probably upgrade. They are in line to pay Kevin Zeitler and Graham Glasgow less than Jackson is making by himself this year, pending the full details of Zeitler's contract that are not out at the time of this writing.

The Rams made a concerted effort to fortify their interior offensive line early in free agency. They paid for the privilege of landing Jackson, as a competitive guard market drove the price up higher than his 2023 performance backs up.