Detroit Lions won't tender an offer to cornerback Jerry Jacobs

It's not a surprising move, but cornerback Jerry Jacobs is an unrestricted free agent after the Lions reportedly won't be tendering him a contract offer.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Because it's the thing to do these days, Detroit Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs seemed to tease his departure from the Lions with his post on Twitter Tuesday.

"You must make a decision that you are going to move on from, it won’t happen automatically you will have to rise up and say I don’t care how hard this is I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me I’m moving on with my life (three prayer emojis)."

Jacobs entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, but it was easy to think is time in Detroit was going to be over. On Wednesday morning, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the Lions don't plan to tender Jacobs an offer sheet. He will now be an unrestricted free agent.

Jacobs was a great undrafted rookie find for the Lions in 2021. He started nine games as a rookie, before a torn ACL ended his season. After returning to action in October of 2022, he was arguably (or maybe inarguably) the Lions' best cornerback over the rest of that season once he was playing heavy defensive snaps.

But Jacobs struggled all-around in 2023, only briefly buoyed by a two-interception game against the Packers in Week 4 and another interception against the Panthers the following week. He was benched in favor of Kindle Vildor later in the season, then he ended the season on IR. Jacobs pre-empted the report he was going on IR with a "Thank you, Detroit" post on Twitter.

Jerry Jacobs could be back with the Lions, but it feels unlikely

Not tendering him a contract offer doesn't necessarily mean Jacobs won't be back with the Lions next season. A restricted free agent tender worth nearly $3 million is just not reasonable for the team to tie itself to for him.

Jacobs started 29 of his 40 games over the last three seasons for the Lions, with a total of four interceptions and 23 pass breakups. There could be multiple teams interested in him as a free agent, if only as a nice depth option. But his Cinderella story in Detroit has run its course, barring an unlikely move to bring him back on a deal cheaper than the RFA tender would have been.

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