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Detroit Lions who Brad Holmes won’t bring back to NFL roster


As the long run grows shiny for the Detroit Lions, general manager Brad Holmes is entering a pivotal offseason.

His team has exceeded expectations in 2022, flipping a 1-6 start into its current 7-8 record. The Lions have played their way nearly into playoff contention, as they sit one game out of the NFC’s seventh seed with two games left on the schedule.

With the unit improving, several decisions may have to be made regarding young players in contract seasons. Though these players have been contributors during their relatively short time in Lions uniforms, they will not be in Holmes’ future plans for the organization.

As well as, there are several players who’ve seen declining roles in 2022. These players could possibly be cap casualties, because the sum of money saved by the organization in releasing them could possibly be helpful. 

Listed here are 4 players who likely won’t return to the team in 2023.

CB Will Harris

Harris has been a flexible a part of the defense since being drafted in 2018. He’s seen time at each safety and corner, playing everywhere in the secondary. Nonetheless, he hasn’t been effective enough to warrant a hefty second contract.

The Boston College product was effective in 2021 at a time of need, as several Lions defensive backs missed time with injury. Recently, he’s served as Detroit’s starting slot cornerback.

Despite playing a big role for the defense, he’s been inefficient. He’s earned a 59.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, which is a career-high mark. Given the metrics, Holmes and company can be remiss in the event that they didn’t seek an upgrade on the position.

DE Austin Bryant

Bryant has been up and down during his transient tenure as a member of the Lions. He’s never played a full season, as he’s handled injuries and frolicked on the practice squad early in his profession.

Bryant has shown potential, recording 4.5 sacks in 14 games through the 2021 campaign. In three other seasons, though, he’s didn’t record a sack.

He’s seen his role diminish in 2022, as he’s played in only nine games and just three since Week 8. The emergence of James Houston and the return of Romeo Okwara have made Bryant a healthy scratch in each of Detroit’s last three games.

CB Amani Oruwariye

After a standout 2021 showing wherein he led the Lions with six interceptions, Oruwariye has taken an enormous step back in production. The downfall began in Week 3, when he was penalized six times in coverage.

Following that game, he was a healthy scratch for Detroit’s Week 4 game against Seattle. He’s been out and in of the lineup since, playing in 12 total games this season. With Jeff Okudah and Jerry Jacobs claiming the starting roles on the surface, Oruwariye has mostly played in spot duty.

The 2021 season shows that there’s loads of skill that comes with the previous Penn State Nittany Lion. He’s still young — at just 26 years old — and will find his footing by getting a fresh start heading into 2023. 

With the Lions leaning on the young duo of Okudah and Jacobs, Oruwariye will likely be the odd man out of the rotation.

DE Michael Brockers

Brockers has been a gentle presence within the Lions’ locker room, because the team’s oldest player. Detroit head coach Dan Campbell has praised his leadership, especially given the wisdom provided by the Tenth-year pro to multiple rookies at his position (Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston).

On the sphere, it’s been a unique story. Brockers last played in Week 11, during which he logged 12 snaps. He’s been a healthy scratch in every other game since Week 5, with the Lions having elected to make the change following their Week 6 bye.

The most important factor with Brockers is his contract. He signed a latest three-year deal, price $24 million, upon being traded to Detroit. Nonetheless, he’s been paid all of his guaranteed money, and the Lions can save $10 million while avoiding his $14 million cap hit by selecting to release him.

With Hutchinson and Houston each showing their mettle, in addition to each Romeo and Julian Okwara making an impact, the Lions are removed from thin on the defensive end positions.

Given the financial impact, paired with Brockers’ small on-field production in recent weeks, Detroit will likely move on from the veteran heading into 2023. 

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