Even with some big contract extensions coming down the road, it seemed more likely than not that the Detroit Lions would get left guard Jonah Jackson signed to a multi-year deal. Then he had a down season this year, marked by injuries, and now that's a real question mark as Jackson moves toward free agency.
It's entirely possible Jackson finds a better deal with another team, and even though he once said he wanted to spend his entire career in Detroit it would behoove him to take it. He could command $10 million or more per year on the open market, with the idea this season was an injury-impacted anomaly and he'll get back to the form he showed the previous two seasons. The Lions may not match that kind of number, though Jackson could take a bit of a "discount" to stay.
Another potential landing spot for Jackson has been offered up.
2024 NFL Free Agency: Jonah Jackson deemed 'ideal fit' for another of the best teams in the NFC
Harris Ahmadzai and Jason Fray of Nostalgic Buzz.com have predicted where 40 NFL free agents will sign. Jackson is No. 25 on the list, with a landing spot that may be surprising.
"Detroit might be hard-pressed to keep Jackson in the fold considering the money it has tied up to other players along the offensive line."
"San Francisco doesn’t have many holes. However, one area of improvement would certainly be the interior of the offensive line. Jackson is still young enough to garner a multi-year deal, and he’s quite good at stonewalling opposing pass rushers."
He seems like an ideal fit for the 49ers.
Prediction: Jackson signs a 3-year/$39 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
Indeed with few holes on their roster, the 49ers could certainly look to upgrade some spots on their offensive line this offseason in a targeted fashion. Jackson could be on their radar.
A three-year, $39 million deal, or more precisely $13 million per year, sits at the high end of Jackson's market value projections. Those projections being what they are, $13 million a year might be a little rich for the Lions depending the structure.
Despite coming off a down year, Jackson could have multiple teams vying for his services in free agency. The Lions legitimately being one of them will remain the question over the next month.