Former Lions cornerback has surprisingly broad market for his services

The Lions did not tender Chase Lucas a contract as a restricted free agent, but he apparently does not lack for options on the open market.

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It was not all that surprising when it was reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Network that the Detroit Lions were not going to tender a contract to exclusive rights free agent cornerback Chase Lucas. When the new league year officially started on Wednesday, that move was confirmed, making Lucas an unrestricted free agent.

Lucas was the Lions' final pick in the 2022 draft. He played in six games as a rookie. After being part of roster cuts last year, he chose to come back to the Lions' practice squad despite interest from at least one other team to add him to their active roster. He ended up playing in 12 games last season (15 games counting the playoffs), entirely on special teams.

Given the Lions' deteriorated situation at cornerback, that he didn't see a single defensive snap last season is interesting.

Chase Lucas has surprising market for his services

According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC in Houston, Lucas is part of a "highly competitive market" for top special teams gunners and four teams have "strong interest" in him-the Lions, the Las Vegas Raiders, the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants. The Giants were the team specifically mentioned to have interest in him after the Lions cut him last preseason.

As Erik Schlitt of Pride of Detroit reminded us, Lucas has a notable tie to the Raiders. Head coach Antonio Pierce was the defensive coordinator at Arizona State when Lucas played there. Las Vegas is also close to his family and his permanent home in Arizona.

If the Lions wanted to keep Lucas, they could have just tendered him and gotten it done. As an ERFA, he had no other options for playing in the NFL next season if they has tendered him. So it seems they agreed to let him test the market, and if it came to it come back.

Seems like a lot of stuff attached to a special teamer. Especially one who wasn't deemed fit to play a single snap at cornerback last season, when no option should have been off the table for the Lions.


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