Jonah Jackson leaves Lions for big contract from Los Angeles Rams

It was expected to happen, but the Lions have indeed lost left guard Jonah Jackson in free agency.

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Turns out reports were right about the guard market booming in free agency. That made it feel inevitable the Detroit Lions would lose left guard Jonah Jackson. Monday morning's re-signing of Graham Glasgow before the negotiating window opened said the Lions were planning for that.

According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Jackson has agreed to a three-year, $51 million deal with the Los Angeles Rams. Per Garafolo, the deal has $34 million in guaranteed money.

Jackson was a third-round pick in Bob Quinn's final draft as Lions' general manager in 2020. He made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in his second year, and followed that with another good season in 2022. He started 57 games over his four seasons in Detroit, and was broadly an underrated part of an offensive line that had three first-round picks.

But 2023 was a tough one for Jackson. He missed time due to three different injuries, and when he was available his performance dropped off. Missing the NFC Championship Game with a knee injury he suffered in the previous playoff round felt like a bit of foreshadowing of his departure in free agency.

Jackson will reunite with Matthew Stafford, who he started all 16 games in front of as a rookie, in Los Angeles.

Detroit Lions free agency: Jonah Jackson leaves sizeable hole at left guard

His struggles for a lot of last season are fresh in everyone's mind, but Jackson will not be easily replaced. During his absences last year, the downgrade in play at left guard was noticeable.

General manager Brad Holmes, however absolutely obviously, promised continued investment in one of the league's best offensive lines this offseason. But Jackson's market value was lined up to be too high to keep him, with some big contract extensions coming, and that slowly but surely was proven true.

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