Potential Roster Cuts Lions Could Target

Players who could be cut that Lions could add.
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Lions have built a roster that is expected to compete for the Super Bowl in 2024.

Still, though, there are areas where Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell could add bodies to help fortify it. Campbell and Holmes have stressed a desire to add competition throughout the roster and it could be fruitful for the team to continue adding bodies.

One avenue they can utilize is the roster cut market. Teams across the league can release players in an effort to bolster their own cap space, and the Lions currently have a limited amount of space to work with on this year's roster.

Here are four potential roster cuts that the Lions could target late in the offseason. All cap savings estimates are via OverTheCap.com.

WR Robert Woods

The Lions have been chastised by national media for not targeting a complimentary wide receiver throughout the offseason. Though they seem to be confident in their options, there could be other players who hit the market and catch their eye.

One such option could be Woods, a proven veteran who the Texans could save money by releasing. As it stands, the Texans would save just under $5 million by releasing Woods but would also incur a dead cap charge of $4.75 million.

A USC product, Woods has played for four teams since entering the league in 2013. Among those teams is the Los Angeles Rams, as his time there overlapped with Lions' quarterback Jared Goff. If the two can revive their connection, Woods could be a nice fit for Ben Johnson's offense.

S Budda Baker

Another area where the Lions could benefit greatly from added depth is at safety. As it stands, Kerby Joseph and Ifeatu Melifonwu are the leading candidates for starting spots. While Brian Branch could see some time at the position and C.J. Moore is back, Detroit could use extra competition.

One veteran who has done good things in their career is Baker, who has played all seven of his NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He has seven career interceptions and has made six Pro Bowls.

Baker is a core part of the Cardinals' defense when healthy, but could also be a target to move on. As he enters the final year of his contract, the Cardinals would save $15.1 million by designating him as a post-June 1 cut while incurring a dead cap charge of $3.925 million.

Baker would be a strong veteran playmaking addition for the Lions' defense and would be a starting-caliber talent that would improve the unit.

DT D.J. Jones

The Lions targeted the defensive line early in free agency with the addition of DJ Reader and by drafting Mekhi Wingo. As a result, the unit will be competitive for snaps and roster spots. However, they could benefit from another veteran addition.

Jones began his career with the 49ers but is entering the final year of a three-year, $30 million deal with the Denver Broncos. Primarily a nose tackle, he would give the Lions veteran insurance behind Reader and allow Brodric Martin more time to develop.

The statistical production from Jones has not lived up to the initial commitment of his contract, s the Broncos may be inclined to move on. As a post-June 1 cut, Denver could save just under $10 million.

EDGE Patrick Jones

A third-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2021, Jones has struggled to assert himself within the defense. He has just five career sacks, and the Vikings reloaded on the edge this offseason. With the additions of Jonathan Greenard and Dallas Turner, Jones faces tough odds in getting to the top of the depth chart.

Jones does have another year on his rookie deal, so the Vikings could be inclined to keep him. However, with his lack of production and the added talent, he could be in danger of being on the roster bubble.

The Lions face their own roster crunch on the edge, but are in need of a productive player opposite Aidan Hutchinson. Jones would, at the least, provide competition for the current players on the Lions' roster.

Christian Booher


Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.