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Why are cities trying so hard to persuade the NFL to bring the draft to town? Because it’s a boom to the local economy.

Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission said today that the 2024 NFL Draft generated a $213.6 million economic impact for the region, of which about three-fourths, $161.3 million, came from visitors who traveled from outside Southeast Michigan to spend money at Detroit hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

An estimated 775,000 people attended draft-related festivities, spending an average of $275 per person. Visitors came from all 50 states and 20 different countries.

After decades as a relatively small event, the league turned the draft into a popular TV show and then moved it out of New York City and turned it into a major event that cities across the country vie to host in hopes of bringing in significant tourism revenue. The 2025 NFL draft will be in Green Bay and the 2026 NFL draft will be in Pittsburgh. Washington, D.C., appears to be a frontrunner for the 2027 NFL draft.

Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown had 119 catches for 1,515 yards in 2023 and he put up those big numbers despite some injury issues.

St. Brown is one of the players involved in the Receiver series on Netflix and he recounts a couple of injuries that he had to deal with early in the campaign. St. Brown hurt his toe during the team’s Week Two loss to the Seahawks, but was well enough to play against the Falcons the next week. He had nine catches for 102 yards in a Detroit win, but picked up an oblique injury to go with his toe problem.

“I’ve had a hip pointer before, so I thought it was a hip pointer,” St. Brown said. “Maybe it’s just a little bruise. And I’m like, ‘Damn, my toe’s still hurting at this point. Now I have this oblique injury.’”

The Lions played the Packers on a Thursday night in Week Five and St. Brown, who said he was at an eight or nine on 1-10 scale of pain, was on the field again.

“It’s too late for me not to play. The game plan’s in,” St. Brown said. “Painkillers is something that I really don’t like to take unless it’s the Packers.”

St. Brown caught a touchdown — and got doused with a beer by a Packers fan — in the 34-20 Lions win and then got an MRI. He said doctors told him “you tore your oblique completely off the bone,” which led to St. Brown missing Week Six. He returned with 25 catches in his next two games and didn’t miss any more time, which is the kind of durability and grit that helped him earn a sizable contract extension this offseason.

Lions tight end Sam LaPorta and quarterback Jared Goff displayed clear chemistry in 2023, with LaPorta setting a record for receptions by a rookie tight end.

With Goff signing a four-year contract extension earlier this offseason, the two are now set to play together for the next several seasons.

In an interview with Jim Rome this week, LaPorta complimented Goff’s steadiness day in and day out.

“I say this about Jared frequently, but he’s the same person every day,” LaPorta said. “You’re not going to find someone more consistent than Jared Goff in our building. And for him to be leading the team, you need to have consistency. You’re going to have good and bad days in the NFL — it’s just the nature of the game and how competitive this league is. But, he shows up every day, he works, and he sets the example and he sets the tone in the building.

“To be able to follow him and the example he sets for this organization, it just trickles on down from there — really amazing. And I’m so happy for him and his extension and his security here in Detroit for another couple of years.”

With Goff as his quarterback, LaPorta caught 86 passes for 889 yards with 10 touchdowns in his first season out of Iowa — finishing No. 3 in AP offensive rookie of the year voting. Goff completed 67.3 percent of his throws for 4,575 yards with 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2023.

Safety Kerby Joseph started 18 games for the Lions last season, but he wasn’t at 100 percent for most of them.

Joseph hurt his hip in Week Two and missed two games before returning for the rest of the Lions’ run to the NFC Championship Game. Joseph went for surgery after the loss to the 49ers in that game and said on NFL Network Tuesday that his rehab progressed well over the course of the offseason.

“Oh, for sure. That hip ain’t nothing,” Joseph said. “Last year, I played through the injury. It was there, but I feel 10 times better now, so I just can’t wait to get out there with the guys.”

Joseph referenced head coach Dan Campbell while saying that the Lions can’t slow down after their success last season. He believes they need to “put the little things together and come together as a whole team” in order to make it to the Super Bowl and having a healthy Joseph should help in that regard.

The eight-game suspension imposed Monday on Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton wipes out eight of his eighteen game checks. With a base salary of $1.21 million, that translates to $537,777 in lost wages for 2024.

The cost to Sutton was much more than that.

Immediately after the Lions became aware that he was wanted on (at the time) felony charges, they voided his guaranteed salary for 2024 and released him. That was $10.5 million, gone for good.

If the Lions hadn’t cut Sutton, he would have lost $4.667 million in salary. The Lions also would have been able to recover a portion of his $10.9 million signing bonus from 2023.

The Lions, however, didn’t hesitate to move on from Sutton. The Steelers ultimately had no qualms about bringing him back. The fact, however, that the NFL ultimately suspended Sutton for nearly half of the season underscores that, in the league’s opinion, Sutton deserved to miss eight games without pay for his misconduct.