Pro Football Focus projects contracts for Detroit Lions free agents

We are just a week away from the 2023 New Year officially beginning, and the Detroit Lions are going to have some important decisions to make when it comes to free agency. Not only will the Lions have to decide which free agents from other teams they would like to sign, but they will also have some HUGE decisions to make involving some of their own players. Pro Football Focus recently released an article where they take a look at the projected salary for six Lions players who are eligible to become free agents.

Detroit Lions backup quarterback Jessie Bates Pro Football Focus

Pro Football Focus projects contracts for Detroit Lions free agents

DJ Chark, WR

PFF NFL rank: 58th
PFF projected salary: 3 years, $35 million ($23.5 million guaranteed)

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Last offseason, Chark signed a one-year deal worth $10 million, but missed Weeks 4-11 due to an injury. However, he finished the year strong, helping the Lions turn their season around in the latter half. In the final six games from Week 12 onwards, Chark achieved a receiving grade of 72.5, with three games of 90-plus receiving yards. He also recorded 11 explosive receptions (tied for 13th) and an average of 17.6 yards per reception (11th).

DeShon Elliott, S

PFF Rank: 113th
PFF projected salary: 2 years, $6.5 million ($3.5 million guaranteed)

Over the past three seasons, Elliott has consistently earned PFF grades above 65.0, with grades over 60.0 as a run defender and in coverage. In 2022, he achieved a career-high of 76 tackles and 20 defensive stops, while also posting a career-low 6.2% missed tackle rate. Elliott has also demonstrated versatility, playing over 100 snaps as the slot defender in 2022, which is a significant increase from previous seasons.

Jamaal Williams, RB

PFF Rank: 114th
PFF projected salary: 2 years, $ 9 million ($5 million guaranteed)

The Lions are presently engaged in talks with Williams regarding a new contract. As one of the team's core players, it is highly probable that a mutually agreeable deal will be reached, given that there is an expectation of reasonable terms being offered.

Alex Anzalone, LB

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PFF Rank: 195th

PFF projected salary: 2 years, $7 million ($4.25 million guaranteed)

Anzalone is coming off one of the best years of his career and this may be his last opportunity to cash in on a big contract, so don’t be surprised if he tests the market in free agency. A deep linebacker free agency class may put obstacles in his way of landing a big contract, but they may also set the market higher than Anzalone would see in a typical year.

Mike Hughes, CB

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PFF Rank: 199th
PFF projected salary: 1 year, $2 million ($1 million guaranteed)

Towards the end of the season, Hughes played a significant role in the team's success, particularly given the lack of depth at the cornerback position. Consequently, the Lions would likely be content to re-sign Hughes at a similar contract level to last season, or possibly lower according to PFF's estimates. Regardless of the team's decision to overhaul the cornerback room, retaining Hughes would bolster the team's depth and contribute a veteran presence to the locker room

Isaiah Buggs, NT

PFF Rank: 200th
PFF projected salary: 2 years, $4 million ($2.25 million guaranteed)

Buggs proved to be a dominant force during the latter part of the season, and his contributions on the field, coupled with his leadership qualities, make him a valuable asset to retain. Moreover, Buggs has taken to social media to express his desire to continue playing for Detroit, which should help to expedite negotiations for a new contract. Given his productivity and commitment, it would be well worth the cost to secure Buggs' services for the team.

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