Lions, LT Taylor Decker Discussing Extension

About to last through three uniform periods as the Lions’ left tackle, Taylor Decker has one season remaining on a contract he signed back in September 2020. The Lions have Penei Sewell on track for a big-ticket extension and have paid center Frank Ragnow, but a third Decker contract is also on Detroit’s radar.

Decker confirmed (via The Athletic’s Colton Pouncy) he and the Lions have begun discussions on another extension. While Decker described these as early-stage talks, the 30-year-old blocker being in play for a new deal is interesting given the other extension priorities on a Lions roster that has improved significantly over the course of the left tackle’s career.

Sewell is now extension-eligible, and while the Lions could keep their All-Pro right tackle on a rookie contract through 2025 via the fifth-year option they will soon exercise, a deal this year may not be out of the question. Jared Goff is also in a contract year, and the veteran quarterback confirmed the long-rumored extension talks have begun. Amon-Ra St. Brown is also in a platform year, and he will command a near-top-level receiver extension. This makes Decker’s spot interesting.

When Decker agreed to his four-year, $59.65MM deal, the tackle market had just seen Laremy Tunsil‘s first $20MM-plus-AAV accord surface. But Decker’s Detroit re-up checked in fifth at the position; it has now fallen to 12th. Decker has never made a Pro Bowl, but the 2016 first-round pick has been one of the NFL’s better left tackles throughout his career. ESPN’s pass block win rate metric placed Decker seventh among tackles last season, and Pro Football Focus slotted him ninth at the position.

Decker has been vital to the Lions forming one of the NFL’s best O-lines, and a nice opportunity could await in free agency come 2025. Only $500K in guaranteed money remains on his current deal.

Recent decisions have shown teams’ openness toward having two highly paid tackles on the payroll. The Broncos, Texans and Eagles all have two tackles earning top-10 money at their respective positions. The Lions could also gain cap room by doing a Decker deal now, as his restructured contract comes in at $19.1MM on their 2024 payroll. Still, it will be interesting to see how far this goes. No right tackle is tied to a deal north of $20MM per year presently; Sewell seems a mortal lock to score a record-setting accord when that time comes.

If Decker were to play out his contract, his 2025 value would be capped to a degree due to age. The Ohio State alum turns 31 later this year. He of 112 career starts, Decker would — as of now — join Garett Bolles, Ronnie Stanley, Cam Robinson, Jedrick Wills and Dan Moore on the 2025 LT market. Left tackles in their primes do not reach free agency often, and fifth-year options will all but certainly remove Christian Darrisaw and Rashawn Slater from any free agency equations. But Decker resides as a key piece here when considering the Lions’ contract situation.

Decker also said (via’s Eric Woodyard) he underwent foot and ankle surgeries earlier this offseason. He missed two games last year and has rebounded from the finger injury that ended his 2021 season after nine games. The Lions are returning four of their five O-line starters, seeing Jonah Jackson‘s price escalate beyond their comfort zone. Kevin Zeitler is set to replace Jackson at left guard.

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