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TWENTYMAN: A look at the Lions' 32 free agents


1. Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu

2023 stats (including playoffs): 10 tackles, 2 QB hits, 0.5 sacks

Twentyman: The veteran Alualu was signed to Detroit's practice squad late in the season. Once he got acclimated, he was elevated for the last two games of the regular season. He was signed to the active roster for Detroit's playoff run and notched six tackles, two quarterback hits and was credited with a half sack in the NFC Championship Game. We'll see if Alualu is interested in playing a 15th season in 2024.

2. Kicker Michael Badgley

2023 stats (including playoffs): 7-for-7 field goals, 24-for-26 extra points

Twentyman: Badgley took over for Riley Patterson Week 15 after the two had competed in practice throughout the middle portion of the season. Badgley was solid down the stretch making every kick he attempted in the playoffs, including a 54-yarder that ended up being the game winner vs. the Rams in the Wild Card. The Lions are likely to take a look at the kicker position this offseason.

3. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater

2023 stats (including playoffs): Did not attempt a pass

Twentyman: Starting quarterback Jared Goff was blessed with good health all season and didn't miss a snap except for some late-game mop up duty when the outcome had already been decided. Bridgewater brought a ton of experience and knowledge to the quarterback room and Goff benefited from that wisdom in prep and on gameday. He's expected to retire this offseason.

4. Tight end Anthony Firkser

2023 stats (including playoffs): 1 rec., 8 yards

Twentyman: Firkser stepped up to the plate late in the season and became Detroit's No. 2 tight end after Brock Wright (hip/forearm) and James Mitchell (hand) suffered injuries. He was really good in the run game. He's not that far removed from back-to-back 39 and 34 catch seasons in Tennessee in 2020 and 2021.

5. Defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson

2023 stats (including playoffs): 29 tackles, 4 PD, 2 INT

Twentyman: Gardner-Johnson was one of Detroit's biggest free-agent acquisitions this offseason but he suffered a torn pectoral muscle the second week of the season vs. Seattle, a game he completed despite suffering the injury in the first half. Credit to him for returning Week 18. He recorded a key interception in the Lions' Divisional Round win over Tampa Bay. With Brian Branch secure at nickel, and Kerby Joseph and Ifeatu Melifonwu at safety, it will be interesting to see what Detroit's level of interest is in re-signing Gardner-Johnson.

6. Guard Graham Glasgow

2023 stats (including playoffs): 20 games (18 starts), 4 penalties, 3.5 sacks allowed

Twentyman: Glasgow might have been Detroit's most valuable free-agent signing from last offseason. He started at right guard, left guard and center this season and there's terrific value knowing a team has an interior offensive lineman with his kind of experience that can start all three spots along the interior and play all three at a really high level. Glasgow said this week he'd love to be back in Detroit next season and that seems to make sense for both sides.

7. Defensive lineman Charles Harris

2023 stats (including playoffs): 13 tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 5 QB hits

Twentyman: Harris played in 13 games this season but was inactive during the Lions' playoff run. He signed a two-year deal following a 7.5-sack season in 2021 but produced just 2.5 sacks total the last two seasons in 19 games played. He has been a terrific leader and a veteran player the young rushers could lean on.

8. Cornerback Will Harris

2023 stats (including playoffs): 19 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit, 1 INT, 2 PD, 1 FR

Twentyman: Branch took over starting nickel cornerback duties this season, but Harris was called on to play that role early in the season when Branch injured an ankle. Harris showed why it's good to have depth at that spot. He had nine tackles and a fumble recovery in Detroit's win over Carolina Week 5. He had an interception the following week in Tampa Bay. He was also a good special teams performer all year.

9. Guard Jonah Jackson

2023 stats (including playoffs): 14 games (14 starts), 4 penalties, 3.0 sacks allowed

Twentyman: Jackson has been a mainstay along Detroit's offensive line at left guard since the Lions took him in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft. He's battled some injuries the last couple years, but he's been a key cog upfront for the Lions. It will be interesting to see what the Lions decide to do here knowing that right tackle Penei Sewell will be due a big extension in the next couple seasons and they are already paying Taylor Decker and Frank Ragnow top money.

10. Longsnapper Jake McQuaide

2023 stats (including playoffs): 1 tackle

Twentyman: McQuaide battled Scott Daly in camp for the Lions' long snapper role and lost to Daly, but when Daly injured a knee midseason the 13-year veteran McQuaide stepped back into the mix and did a good job with no incidents involving the snap.

11. Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley

2023 stats (including playoffs): No statistics

Twentyman: It was too bad we never got to see what Moseley could do in this defense. After rehabbing a torn ACL all through camp and the beginning part of the regular season he made it back into the lineup Week 5 vs. Carolina but played only two snaps before tearing the ACL in his other knee. That ended up being a big loss for the Lions secondary at the outside cornerback position.

12. Tackle Matt Nelson

2023 stats (including playoffs): 3 games (2 starts), 1 penalty, 0 sacks allowed

Twentyman: Nelson was lost for the year in Week 3 due to an ankle injury that required surgery. He's made 14 starts over the last four seasons and was Detroit's swing tackle when Decker and Sewell were healthy. He's part of the depth that made Detroit's offensive line so steady the last few years.

13. Defensive lineman Romeo Okwara

2023 stats (including playoffs): 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 5 QB hits, 1 FF, 2 PD

Twentyman: Okwara played in 19 games but only 18 percent of the regular season snaps on defense as a rotational edge rusher. He had a 10.0-sack season in 2020 but has recorded just 5.0 sacks total in the last three seasons combined.

14. Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones

2023 stats (including playoffs): 5 receptions, 58 yards, 1 rush, 2 yards, 4 punt ret., 32 yards

Twentyman: The Lions traded for Peoples-Jones at the deadline to bolster their depth at receiver. He played a big role as the team's punt returner during the playoffs with Kalif Raymond unable to play after hurting his knee in the regular-season finale. Peoples-Jones has some nice versatility to his game.

15. Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin

2023 stats (including playoffs): 26 tackles, 1 TFL, 1.0 sack, 3 QB hits, 2 PD

Twentyman: Reeves-Maybin was named All Pro and earned a Pro Bowl nod as one of the best special teams players in the NFL. His 14 tackles on special teams led the NFL. He also stepped in and played a nice role on defense as one of Detroit's best third down and cover linebackers. There's a ton of value in having a player like Reeves-Maybin on the roster.

16. Wide receiver Josh Reynolds

2023 stats (including playoffs): 48 receptions, 740 yards, 6 TD

Twentyman: A couple drops in the NFC Championship are fresh on peoples' minds, but Reynolds was a consistent and productive player for the Lions all season. He made huge catches all year and is one of the players quarterback Jared Goff trusts the most. He had 39 first-down grabs this season as a No. 3 receiver.

17. Offensive lineman Dan Skipper

2023 stats (including playoffs): 14 games (1 start), 1 penalty, 1 sack allowed

Twentyman: Skipper can play tackle or guard and was Detroit's primary swing tackle in heavy sets after Nelson went down with an ankle injury. He showed off his hands Week 18 vs. Minnesota catching a pass for a 4-yard gain. He's a six-year vet with the ability to play inside and outside.

18. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld

2023 stats (including playoffs): No statistics

Twentyman: Sudfeld suffered a torn ACL in Detroit's preseason finale and spent the year on IR. With third-round pick Hendon Hooker set to take over backup duties to Goff next season it's unclear if Sudfeld will be brought back to compete for that role.

19. Guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai

2023 stats (including playoffs): 6 games (3 starts), 0 penalties, 1 sack allowed

Twentyman: Vaitai was in a tight battle all through training camp with Glasgow for the starting right guard spot and won it out of camp. The back injury that forced him to miss all of the 2022 season flared up again and the Lions placed him on IR in November.

20. Cornerback Kindle Vildor

2023 stats (including playoffs): 22 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 QB hit, 2 PD, 1 FF

Twentyman: It was unfortunate that deep pass to 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk in the NFC Championship Game went through Vildor's hands and off his face mask right into Aiyuk's hands for a 51-yard gain that set up a key touchdown for the 49ers. Vildor came in midseason and filled a needed role, but with cornerback expected to be a position of need this offseason it's unclear where Vildor stands in the mix of things.


1. Long snapper Scott Daly

2023 stats (including playoffs): No statistics

Twentyman: Daly was praised by special teams coordinator Dave Fipp for the way he took a big step forward in his development from last year to this year. It's too bad a knee injury cut his season short. He should be in the mix for that role again next year.

2. Cornerback Khalil Dorsey

2023 stats (including playoffs): 12 tackles, 1 PD, 12 kickoff returns, 244 yards

Twentyman: Dorsey was second on the Lions behind Reeves-Maybin with eight special teams tackles. He was also one of Detroit's kickoff returners. He's developing as a cornerback. 

3. Cornerback Jerry Jacobs

2023 stats (including playoffs): 55 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QB hit, 3 INT, 8 PD

Twentyman: Jacobs began the season as the No. 2 cornerback on the outside opposite Cam Sutton but lost his starting job after allowing seven touchdowns and a passer rating of 107.8 in his coverage area. He ended the season on IR.

4. Defensive lineman Benito Jones

2023 stats (including playoffs): 27 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.0 sack, 6 QB hits

Twentyman: Jones started 15 games this season and was a key player in a Detroit run defense that finished the season No. 2 in the NFL. Whether a starter or a rotational player, Jones is a space eater and productive presence inside.

5. Linebacker Anthony Pittman

2023 stats (including playoffs): 4 tackles

Twentyman: Pittman has been a core member of Detroit's special teams for four seasons and a valuable member of the roster. For a team that values special teams as much as Dan Campbell and the Lions, there will always be roster spots for special teams specialists like Pittman.

6. Tight end Brock Wright

2023 stats (including playoffs): 14 receptions, 120 yards, 1 TD

Twentyman: Wright was the second tight end behind rookie Pro Bowler Sam LaPorta but never complained and continued to do his job at a high level, especially when it came to blocking in the run game. He had a critical 29-yard catch and run in Detroit's Divisional Round win over Tampa Bay in the playoffs.


1. Guard Kayode Awosika

2023 stats (including playoffs): 17 games (5 starts), 1 penalty, 1 sack allowed

Twentyman: Awosika was called upon to play an important starting role in the playoffs after Jackson hurt his knee in the Wild Card. Awosika got better and better as the season progressed and is an ascending player entering his fourth season in 2024.

2. Linebacker James Houston

2023 stats (including playoffs): 1 tackle, 1 QB hit

Twentyman: After recording eight sacks as a rookie, Houston played in only three games this past season after breaking his ankle Week 2 in a loss to Seattle. He returned for the NFC Championship Game and played 11 snaps. With another full offseason to develop his craft Houston should be in the mix to be part of the edge rush rotation next season.

3. Running back Zonovan Knight

2023 stats (including playoffs): 3 rushes, 13 yards

Twentyman: Knight could be in the mix next season to compete with Craig Reynolds for a reserve roll in Detroit's backfield behind David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs. He rushed for 300 yards and a touchdown with the Jets in 2022.

4. Cornerback Chase Lucas

2023 stats (including playoffs): 3 tackles

Twentyman: Lucas is still a developmental player as a cornerback but turned out to be a really good gunner on punt teams and a core member of Detroit's special teams this season.

5. Running back Craig Reynolds

2023 stats (including playoffs): 42 rushes, 180 yards, 2 TD, 5 kickoff returns, 133 yards

Twentyman: Reynolds might have been the third running back on the roster, but he made some really impactful plays this season. The touchdown against the Bucs in the Divisional Round on 4th & goal was huge. So was his block for an Amon-Ra St. Brown touchdown in the Week 6 matchup in Tampa Bay. When given an opportunity, Reynolds performs.

6. Tight end Shane Zylstra

2023 stats (including playoffs): No statistics

Twentyman: Zylstra was lost for the season in training camp due to a knee injury. He had four touchdown grabs in 2022 and is a versatile receiving weapon. He could be back to compete for a reserve tight end role in 2024.

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