Lions, Jonah Jackson Not Close On Deal?

Among a handful of young guards close to free agency, Jonah Jackson may need to collect his money elsewhere. As the Lions have some big payments to make, the four-year guard starter was not close to an extension when the sides previously talked.

The Lions discussed an extension with Jackson last year, though no report of substantial negotiations surfaced. Indeed,’s Adam Caplan notes Jackson and the Lions were not believed to be close on terms when they talked in 2023.

[RELATED: Jared Goff Extension Expected In 2024]

Detroit does not have an obvious replacement for Jackson on its roster, but the team also has Taylor Decker and Frank Ragnow tied to veteran contracts up front. Penei Sewell is also extension-eligible now; the All-Pro right tackle will be linked to a potential position-record accord either this year or next. The Lions will have Sewell under contract through 2025, once they pick up his fifth-year option. That will table matters with the former No. 6 overall pick, but the Jackson situation is on the front burner.

A starter in all 59 games he has played with the Lions, Jackson previously expressed interest in a long-term Detroit stay. The former third-round pick was part of one of the NFL’s best O-lines, helping enable Jared Goff‘s resurgence and successful seasons from RBs David Montgomery, Jahmyr Gibbs and Jamaal Williams over the past two years. Pro Football Focus ranked Jackson 34th among guards last season, but he checked in inside the top 30 in 2021 and ’22.

Jackson, 27, is part of an interesting guard class. Not much movement has taken place with the 2020 draftees-turned-starters, who are close to testing the market. Jackson joins Robert Hunt, Damien Lewis, Michael Onwenu, Jon Runyan Jr. and Ezra Cleveland as young guard starters seeking their first paydays. Teams in need at guard will also have older performers Dalton Risner and Graham Glasgow, the latter rebounding when back with the Lions, available. Kevin Zeitler will also be available ahead of his age-34 season.

In addition to a future Sewell payment, the Lions have Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown residing as 2024 priorities. Both offensive pillars are going into contract years. Jackson should not be ruled out from staying, but it is certainly possible the gap between what the Lions have offered — if indeed an offer has been extended — and what will be available on the open market will lead the four-year starter out of Michigan.

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