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Detroit Lions 2021 free agency outlook

The Lions head into 2021 free agency coming off a 5-11 season. We break down their free agents, cap space, and more.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay pushes off against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy in the fourth quarter at State Farm Stadium Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are entering yet another new era for the franchise, and it appears they’re going to start anew by making it clear Matthew Stafford will likely be playing elsewhere. Plenty of free agency decisions are needed to be made from new general manager with 24 free agents on the roster including wide receivers Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola and Mohamed Sanu.

Lost revenue due to COVID-19 will impact every team, but with so many free agents the likely drop in the league wide salary cap number could make things difficult. The 2020 number was around $198 million, while the 2021 number could drop to $180.5 million according to Over The Cap, but is subject to change.

Franchise/Transition Tag possibilities

With the amount of expected departures at the wide receiver position, giving the franchise tag to Golladay would make a lot of sense if he and the Lions cannot agree on a long-term deal. Whoever plays quarterback for Detroit next season will need a talented receiver of Golladay’s caliber, and he’s proven to be a consistent playmaker. It would be very smart for the Lions keep him around as someone who could be an elite No. 1 wide receiver for years to come.

Detroit hasn’t used the franchise tag since 2018 when it was used on defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who is now playing for the San Francisco 49ers.

Salary cap

Estimated 2021 cap space: $6,198,628

2021 transactions

Free agent signings


Free agent departures




Notable unrestricted free agents

Lions 2021 Free Agents

Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
RB Adrian Peterson Lions
WR Marvin Jones Lions
WR Danny Amendola Lions
WR Mohamed Sanu Lions
WR Kenny Golladay Lions
LG Oday Aboushi Lions
EDGE Everson Griffen Lions
LB Reggie Ragland Lions
LB Jarrad Davis Lions
LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin Lions
CB Mike Ford* Lions
CB Darryl Roberts Lions
CB Tony McRae Lions
CB Jamal Agnew Lions
S Duron Harmon Lions
S Miles Killebrew Lions
LS Don Muhlbach Lions
K Matt Prater Lions

* Denotes Restricted Free Agent (RFA)