Report: The Lions will not give a tender offer OT Matt Nelson
It looks like the Lions needs on the offensive line will be a little bigger. Per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, the Lions will not issue a contract tender offer to No. 3 tackle Matt Nelson.
Nelson is a restricted free agent, but the team would need to extend the fourth-year swing tackle a tender offer to lock in his contractual rights. If the Lions don’t offer Nelson the required tender, which would lock him in for a contract just over $2.5 million, he will become an unrestricted free agent beginning next Wednesday and free to sign with any team.
Nelson has been used almost exclusively as an extra tackle in the last three seasons. He lost some of those reps to Dan Skipper during the 2022 campaign. Skipper is an unrestricted free agent. When pressed into duty as the right tackle early in 2021, Nelson struggled.
Nelson could return to Detroit, though that seems unlikely given his lack of developmental progress. A defensive end at Iowa in college, the transition to offensive tackle appears to have stalled out beyond using him as a de facto blocking tight end.
That would leave a sizeable hole for a Lions offense that uses an extra offensive lineman more frequently than any other team except the Browns. It’s a position they used more frequently in 2022 than a fullback or a third linebacker on defense.