Detroit Lions don't have an OTA problem that a lot of teams do

The Detroit Lions took care of contract business, so they've avoided an OTA problem a lot of teams have.
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It's important to note that NFL offseason work is voluntary for players until their teams have mandatory minicamp each June. But when notable players aren't present, often related to some kind of contract matters, it makes headlines in May when teams start the next phase of OTAs. It's usually much ado about little or nothing ultimately, with rare exceptions.

There are big names who around the league who are not at OTAs this week-Brandon Aiyuk, Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, Cameron Heyward and Courtland Sutton are among the notable names not with their teams.

Last fall, there was a very faint idea that Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown could holdout if he didn't get a contract extension before 2024 training camp. It never seemed likely, and of course now it's a moot point.

The Lions could have waited a bit to extend offensive tackle Penei Sewell, with a fifth-year option in their pocket. But they did not wait, making Sewell the highest-paid offensive tackle in the league before the draft.

And lastly, the Lions signed quarterback Jared Goff to a big contract extension earlier this month.

Three key pieces of offseason business. Three big contracts, done before OTAs. Just like general manager Brad Holmes intended.

Detroit Lions don't have a problem with OTA attendance

Again, player absences from voluntary OTAs tend to be overblown to feed the hunger for NFL news in May. But from the start of this regime in Detroit, players have mostly shown up at Allen Park for optional offseason work.

Dan Campbell's first year as head coach was 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic remained a thing. But 80 players on the Lions' 90-man roster showed up to OTAs. In 2022 and 2023, the majority of players came in for OTAs. As much as anything, it's a reflection of how players buy into the culture Campbell has built and it's not surprising.

The actual football value of unpadded practices with no contact allowed is next to nil. But teams can build chemistry by being together during OTAs, and the Lions players mostly showing up fits the type of guys Campbell and Holmes have prioritized having around-with great success.

Next. 5 potential head coaches the Detroit Lions are glad they chose Dan Campbell over in 2021. 5 potential head coaches the Detroit Lions are glad they chose Dan Campbell over in 2021. dark