The Detroit Lions are in the process of deciding what to do ahead of the offseason, and with one cut already under their belt, could more be on the way?
With around $23 million to spend, the Lions already have some wiggle room under the cap, but more could help the team be even more aggressive in filling out their needs ahead of the NFL draft.
Halapoulivaati Vaitai represents the next biggest potential shoe to drop for the Lions. Already, many have made the case that he should be the next release for the team for cap purposes, but rarely does the analysis include a thought about what the team could do next up front if he leaves.
In a piece at The 33rd Team, analyst Ari Meirov admitted that Vaitai likely makes sense as the team’s next cut relative to his contract as well as injuries. If the team does move on, Meirov points out that
“Injuries have been a concern for Vaitai since he joined Detroit under the previous regime. He missed the entire season this past year due to a back injury and Detroit could look to find his replacement in free agency or in the draft,” Meirov wrote of Vaitai.
The Lions have a strong offensive line already, but an addition in free agency or the draft up front might catch many by surprise given the depth the team has built in the trenches over the last few years.
Detroit’s needs right now are on the defensive side of the ball, so an early pick at guard might shock some folks. The same would be true if the team decided to sign someone in free agency.
Either of those options could be ones to remember should the Lions decide upon a cut in the days ahead.
Lions Options to Replace Halapoulivaati Vaitai
If the team does decide to let Vaitai go as has been rumored recently, there are many outcomes that make sense for the team as it relates to replacing him.
The first for Detroit would be going in-house, and perhaps allowing a player like guard/center Evan Brown or guard Logan Stenberg to take over the starting role on a full-time basis. Both players played in 2022 to help the Lions account for the loss of Vaitai,
Brown has played in 41 games in his career with 24 starts, so he has NFL experience …read more