Inside the Article:
The Detroit Lions are no strangers to change, and this offseason has been no different. With the addition of new players to the roster, some current Lions players are in jeopardy of losing their job from a year ago. Let's take a closer look at the three players who are likely to see their roles reduced in 2023. In fact, it is possible that one of these players could be cut.
3 Detroit Lions who are in jeopardy of losing their job
- Malcolm Rodriguez: If you are familiar with the Detroit Lions' defensive scheme, you are away of the fact that they generally play just two linebackers at a time. Alex Anzalone, who was a team captain in 2022, played nearly all of the team's defensive snaps in 2022, and he will likely do the same again in 2023. Meanwhile, Jack Campbell, who was the No. 18 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is expected to fill the other starting spot. This means that unless Rodriguez can outperform expectations, he is likely to be relegated to the bench.
- Ifeatu Melifonwu: The Lions have decided to bring back S Saivion Smith, who previously earned a starting role before he suffered a scary injury against the New England Patriots. With Tracy Walker and Kerby Joseph as the likely starters, coupled with the signing of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in free agency AND the decision to select Brian Branch in the 2023 NFL Draft, Melifonwu will have a very difficult time seeing the field. In fact, don't be surprised if he is cut before the season begins.
- Benito Jones: Jones cracked the Lions' defensive line rotation in 2022, but his road to playing time in 2023 is certainly in jeopardy. Though the Lions did re-sign Jones during the offseason, which likely means they want to keep him around, they also selected DT Brodric Martin in the 2023 NFL Draft. Alim McNeill and Isaiah Buggs are expected to be the starters out the gate, and depending on how quickly Martin develops could be a big factor in how much Jones sees the field this coming season.
Bottom Line: The Detroit Lions' roster continues to get deeper
The Lions are not afraid to make changes to their roster, and the addition of new players can often result in current players being displaced. The Lions' defense has been a key focus of their offseason, and the three players mentioned above are in positions that have been upgraded. While they all have a chance to secure playing, it will not be easy, and they will need to outperform their competition.