Detroit Lions Necessary Contract Extensions

This past year has been monumental for the Detroit Lions. After an explosive 2023 season, the Lions did not disappoint going into 2024, producing their best season in the past few decades. It is safe to say that the Lions have had a successful rebuild, having some of the best offensive and defensive players in the NFL. But for the Lions to ensure success in the coming years, they must extend the contracts of these four key players. 

The Detroit Lions’ Necessary Contract Extensions

1. Amon-Ra St. Brown

In one episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks”, wide receiver Amon-Ra St.Brown touched on the feeling of watching the 16 wide receivers picked before him. But, instead of using this as a reason to give up, he used it as a form of motivation, and the 112th draft pick shocked the world with 90 catches, 912 yards receiving, and six touchdowns in his rookie season.

St. Brown did not disappoint the following season with 1,161 yards receiving and six touchdowns. With St. Brown signing a $4,265,252 rookie contract in 2021, he is eligible for a contract extension. St. Brown has been essential to the Lions’ passing scheme, and not extending his contract would be a huge mistake.

2. Jared Goff

Quarterback Jared Goff was a part of the monumental Los Angeles Rams and Detroit Lions trade in 2021. Many people were extremely weary of this trade; with only twenty touchdowns, 23 sacks, and 3,952 yards rushing, Goff hardly seemed like the quarterback that could turn the poverty franchise into something of value. Goff proved haters right in his 2021 season, leading the team to a disappointing 3-13-1 finish.

The beginning of his second season was less than impressive, losing six out of seven games by Week 8. But something ignited in Goff the following week, beating the Green Bay Packers 15-9 and winning five out of seven of the following games. This flame within Goff carried into this season, leading the Lions to their first playoff win in 32 years.

Above all, the people of Detroit have grown to love Jared Goff, cheering for him at 133.6 decibels against the lion’s first post-season game against the Rams. It is fair to say that Goff’s skill and leadership, along with Head Coach Dan Campbell‘s fantastic coaching, have proved as a dynamic duo to achieve greatness these past few seasons. Letting go of Goff would mean letting go of a brilliant quarterback who is also the glue holding this team together.

3. Taylor Decker

Offensive Tackle Taylor Decker has stayed loyal to the Lions since the 16th overall pick signed his rookie contract in 2016. Decker has seen the team through thick and thin, having three coaches during his career with the Lions. Decker’s ability to hold off the opposing defensive line is a driving reason why Goff has only thirty sacks this season.

This ability to elevate pressure for Goff has allowed Goff to have a 67.3% completion rate, ranking number ten overall in the NFL. Decker is an essential part of the offensive line, along with right tackle Penei Sewell, right guard Graham Glasgow, center Frank Ragnow, and left guard Jonah Jackson.

4. Ifeatu Melifonwu

Safety Ifeatu Melifonwu has proved himself worthy of a contract extension, especially in his crucial role in winning games such as the Week 16 game against the  Minnesota Vikings, sealing the Lions’ progress into the post-season with his game-winning interception. During Melinfowu’s 2023 season, he has accumulated nine assists and 24 tackles. Melifonwu has stepped up his game, improving drastically since his rookie season in 2021. Melifonwu has painted himself as a knowledgeable and driven safety.

The Lions’ moves this off-season are crucial to locking in their success for the following season. These four players eligible for a contract extension are integral to the offensive and defensive schemes. Although these extensions will likely come with a hefty price tag, it will be worth it.

Main Image: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

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