5 former Detroit Lions who are having trouble finding jobs

As the NFL offseason moves away from peak level activity, these former Detroit Lions are having trouble finding a job.

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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A rising tide raises all ships, and there are not many tides higher in the NFL than the Detroit Lions right now. Coming off a trip to the NFC Championship in Year 3 of the rebuild led by Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell, the next step to the Super Bowl is on the radar and in play.

But as the talent on the roster improves and players emerge, some other players naturally fall by the wayside. Campbell clearly won't forget the players who grinded and gave their all as the team went 3-13-1 in 2021, when the talent level was not near what it is now. But regardless of contract, draft status or tenure, merit reigns.

With that, players naturally fall by the wayside. Sometimes an injury is in play, which is unfortunate. But other times it's sheerly underperformance and forcing the hand to be replaced by someone else, especially with as good a team as the Lions are now. There is no room to work out kinks on the field.

The Lions are a desirable destination for free agents now, which also pushes incumbent players out the door.

With a bit of recency bias, but not entirely, these five former Lions are having trouble finding jobs this offseason.

5. OG Laken Tomlinson

After being released by the New York Jets in a cap-cutting move, Tomlinson made some sense to possibly come back to the Lions as they looked to replace left guard Jonah Jackson. That has been taken care of now, with the signing of Kevin Zeitler and the move of Graham Glasgow over to the left side.

Still, Tomlinson is a durable starting guard who has played every game in six straight seasons. He has come a long way from the first-round pick bust status he pushed into when the Lions traded him after two years. But his play dropped off a lot over his two years with the Jets after five strong seasons with the 49ers, by PFF grade if not the eye test, with some context for situation important to note. He's also 32 years old, which explains why he remains available.