The 2023 season will go down as a great success for the Detroit Lions.
They tied the franchise record for wins in a season (12), and won a division title for the first time since 1993. They hosted a playoff game for the first time since that same season, and for the first time at Ford Field. It was so nice they did it twice, beating the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the home crowd making it an extra tough environment in both postseason wins. Oh and they won their first postseason game since 1991.
The Lions also made the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1991. A second half collapse to blow a 17-point halftime lead was rough, but they were not in over their heads against the favored San Francisco 49ers in a 34-31 loss.
However, the goal of making (or dare I say winning) a Super Bowl will have to wait at least one more year. But that making or winning a Super Bowl is even part of the conversation is a reflection that these are not anywhere close to the "Same Old Lions". These are the "Brand New Lions", and they are set up to be a good team for the foreseeable future. No guarantees they ever get back to the NFC title game, but the future is bright.
Now that the Lions' 2023 season is over, let's take a look at five players who will not be back on the team next season.
5 players who will not be back with the Detroit Lions next season
5. EDGE Charles Harris
Since a breakout during his first season as a Lion in 2021, when he led the team with 7.5 sacks, it's been all downhill for Harris--coincidentally or not as the team has gotten better. An injury hampered him last season, and eventually landed him on IR. He started this season in a fairly large role, but a downward trend in snaps led to him being a not-so surprising healthy scratch in Week 7. Turns out that was foreshadowing for how the rest of his season would go.
Harris was a healthy scratch three more times before the regular season ended, and he played a total of 11 defensive snaps in the last three regular season games he suited up for. For a team that struggled to find pass rush off the edge outside of Aidan Hutchinson all season, that lack of opportunity is striking (and very telling). To the surprise of no one, he was also a healthy scratch in all three playoff games.
Harris is going to be a free agent, officially five days after the Super Bowl when his contract voids. He clearly has not been up to par for most of the last two seasons, and it became where he was rendered unable to help the cause by being made a healthy scratch regularly.
Harris' time with the Lions has been effectively over for several weeks. The launch of the offseason will just make it a formality.
Before the next player, take a moment to claim FanDuel Sportsbook's brand new $200 sign-up promo! If you deposit at least $10 and bet $5 or more on any game, you'll receive $200 in bonus bets if the team you bet on wins. Sign up for FanDuel now!