Lions general manager Brad Holmes talks about contract extensions for Jared Goff and Jonah Jackson

After an active 2023 free agency period, Lions GM Brad Holmes is shifting priority back to keeping their own.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

With an eye on taking a big step this year, the Detroit Lions shifted away from a priority on retaining their own free agents this offseason. It was a welcome shift from general manager Brad Holmes, and in hindsight it was well-calculated.

Still, Holmes' stated philosophy--"We want to retain good players"--holds up and will hold up until shown otherwise. Deals to keep Frank Ragnow, Tracy Walker, Alex Anzalone and Romeo Okwara show it.

Holmes was on 97.1 The Ticket Thursday morning. In terms of the most looming new contracts for the Lions, two names are at the top of most people's minds--Jared Goff and Jonah Jackson.

Goff has two years left on his contract, but as the quarterback market continues to rise it's fair to assume he/his agent would like to capitalize on his coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Extension talks are presumably started to some extent, and Holmes reinforced that on Thursday.

Brad Holmes talks contract extensions for Jared Goff, Jonah Jackson

On a new deal for Goff, here's what Holmes said.

"We’ve all just been keeping open dialogue from the very start," Holmes said Thursday on 97.1 The Ticket. "We’ve been very transparent both with Jared and his camp on things. We’ll keep it in house, but we’re going to do the right thing for the franchise and that’s where we’ll go.""

The Lions have a line to toe with Goff. There's a case for getting a deal done soon, before he has another good season and raises his value more. On the other side, it might be nice to see if he can have another good season before committing to him long-term.

Left guard Jonah Jackson is entering the final year of his rookie contract, with a Pro Bowl selection on his resume as an underrated piece of a very good offensive line. He recently offered the obvious sentiment about everything falling into place if he takes care of his business, and he has said he wants to spend his entire career in Detroit. He's in line for a deal in the $15-20 million range per year.

Holmes pointed to Jackson as a core player he's preparing to keep around.

"We know there's a business side of it, but it’s easy to identify who those core players are and those guys who are going to be staples in our franchise," Holmes said. "Those are discussions we’ve talked about and we’re preparing for. Guys like Jonah Jackson, we’ve had discussions about that.""

Holmes noted upcoming similar discussions with certified franchise pillars Amon Ra-St. Brown and Penei Sewell. St. Brown is under contract through 2024, while Sewell has a fifth-year option that will take him through 2025.

"There's going to be a lot of decisions that we make, but we’re going to do the best we can," Holmes said.

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