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Detroit Lions 2022 free agency outlook

The Lions head into 2022 free agency coming off an 3-13-1 season. We break down their free agents, cap space, and more.

Detroit Lions free safety Tracy Walker III (21) catches the ball during warmups before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions did not play great in 2021 under first-year head coach Dan Campbell, but they were competitive down the stretch. The Lions finished in fourth place in the NFC North and with a record of 3-13-1.

Detroit saw their wide receiver position decimated by injury, which led to rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown becoming the team’s No. 1 wide receiver. The team also lost young cornerback Jeff Okudah to a season-ending injury early in the season. The Lions will look to continue their rebuild with two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Last season’s salary cap number dropped to $182.5 million as the league dealt with the pandemic, but the 2022 cap is expected to rebound back up to $208 million, according to Over The Cap. That increase should loosen a few team pocketbooks this offseason.

Franchise/Transition Tag possibilities

The Lions have a little bit of cap space to work with heading into the offense, which is just enough to potentially give Tracy Walker the franchise tag. The 27-year-old safety was one of the constant playmakers in the secondary this season with 108 combined tackles (career-high), six pass deflections, three tackles for loss and an interception. He also played 77.3% of the Lions’ defensive snaps this season.

If the Lions were to give Walker the franchise tag, it would cost them $12.9 million, which is not horrible. However, with only $22 million to work with, Detroit might want to try and put a longer term deal together.

Salary cap

Estimated 2022 cap space: ($22 million)

Notable unrestricted free agents

Detroit Lions 2022 UFAs

Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
Tracy Walker S Lions 77.30% 27
Charles Harris EDGE Lions 76.40% 27
Alex Anzalone LB Lions 72.60% 28
Kalif Raymond WR Lions 67.30% 28
Dean Marlowe S Lions 61.30% 30
Nicholas Williams IDL Lions 54.60% 32
Jalen Reeves-Maybin LB Lions 54.00% 27
Josh Reynolds WR Lions 42.20% 27
KhaDarel Hodge WR Lions 22.30% 27
Tim Boyle QB Lions 16.30% 28
Shaun Dion Hamilton LB Lions 0.00% 27
Tyrell Crosby RT Lions 0.00% 27
Joel Heath IDL Lions 0.00% 29