Detroit Lions Add Key Pieces to Kick Off 2024 Offseason


As the Detroit Lions aim to capitalize on their previous season’s NFC Championship game appearance, they have been proactive in reshaping their roster. Through trades, free agent signings, and retaining key players, the Lions are gearing up for the 2024 season with high expectations. These early maneuvers in free agency and trades underscore the team’s ambitious blueprint for sustained success.

Here’s a deeper look into the roster moves made by the Lions thus far:

Carlton Davis III Boosts Defensive Backfield

The Detroit Lions kicked off free agency by trading for a Super Bowl Champion cornerback in Carlton Davis III from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In exchange for a 2024 third-round draft pick, Detroit not only acquired Davis but also added a 2024 sixth-round and a 2025 sixth-round draft pick to Brad Holmes arsenal of draft capital.

Davis’s arrival in Detroit is significant; his tenure with Tampa Bay highlighted his upside as a premier defensive back. With 76 career games under his belt, Davis has amassed a 320 tackles, 73 pass defenses, and nine interceptions.. His addition is expected to significantly enhance the Lions’ pass defense, bringing experience and a proven track record of performance from his time as a Buccaneer.

Marcus Davenport Elevates Pass Rush

Marcus Davenport’s addition to the Detroit Lions has potential to provide a significant boost to their pass rush. After a brief stint with the Minnesota Vikings, where he notched seven tackles and 2.0 sacks in just four games, the 27-year-old Davenport reunites in Detroit with Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn, who he played under after being drafted by the New Orleans Saints.

His early career with the Saints was marked by his ability to get pressure on quarterbacks. He compiled 23.5 career sacks and 64 quarterback hits. The University of Texas San Antonio product, chosen 14th overall in the 2018 draft, is known for his powerful presence on the field, combining size, speed, and technique to disrupt offensive lines enroute to the quarterback.

Amik Robertson Strengthens Cornerback Corps

The acquisition of Amik Robertson from the Las Vegas Raiders adds depth and versatility to the Lions’ secondary. Over his four-year tenure with the Raiders, Robertson appeared in 52 games, showcasing his ability to defend the pass and contribute to the run defense. His adaptability in various defensive schemes offers defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn even more flexibility.  

Last season, Robertson’s impact was undeniable with 50 tackles, six pass defenses, and two interceptions. His aggressive play style and knack for being around the football make him a valuable addition to the Lions’ defense. He is expected to compete for significant playing time.

DJ Reader Solidifies Interior Defense

The signing of D.J. Reader, an unrestricted free agent from the Cincinnati Bengals, significantly strengthens the Lions’ defensive line. Reader’s four-year stint with the Bengals was marked by consistent performance when on the field. In 2023, Reader showed his value, notching 34 tackles and a sack over 14 games. He helped his defensive line-mate, Trey Hendrickson, knotck a career high 17.5 sacks.

Spanning 105 games with both the Bengals and the Houston Texans, Reader has amassed 277 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Reader is celebrated for his ability to occupy blockers. He disrupts running lanes and applies pressure up the middle, making him a critical asset for Detroit’s defense. His experience and leadership will be invaluable in anchoring the defensive unit and mentoring emerging talents.

Key Roster Re-Signings

The Lions have re-signed several critical players, ensuring continuity and stability within the roster. The list includes:

  • Guard Graham Glasgow
  • Linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin
  • Cornerback Emmanuel Moseley
  • Kicker Michael Badgley
  • Running Back Zonovan Knight
  • Tight End Shane Zylstra
  • Guard Dan Skipper
  • Cornerback Khalil Dorsey
  • Long Snapper Scott Daly

The Detroit Lions offseason moves reflect a targeted approach to building a team capable of not just repeating their previous season’s success but aiming even higher. Moreover, by acquiring talents like Carlton Davis III, Marcus Davenport, Amik Robertson, and DJ Reader, along with retaining a core group of key players, the Lions have laid a strong foundation for 2024. These players not only bring skill and experience to the team but also embody the gritty ethos the Lions are now known for.

Under the astute leadership of General Manager Brad Holmes, the Lions are poised to enter the 2024 season with a roster that balances seasoned veterans and promising young talent. The Detroit Lions’ fanbase has every reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season. The team shows a clear commitment to competing at the highest level and striving for the ultimate goal: a Super Bowl victory.


For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21


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Original Photo Credit: © Kim Klement Neitzel – USA TODAY Sports