Free agents: Leonard Davis (UFA)
Currently, the Detroit Lions only have two offensive guards who saw the field last season under contract for 2012. They are Rob Sims and Stephen Peterman, the starters at offensive guard for the Lions. The only other guard even under contract is Jacques McClendon, who spent one month on the active roster and the rest of the 2011 season on the practice squad.
A big reason why the Lions are light on guards is because center Dylan Gandy can also play the position. That allows them to get away with having a limited amount of guards on the team, although they are especially limited right now with Leonard Davis set to become a free agent. He joined the Lions last November and wasn't active for a single game. Mainly, the Lions wanted to bring Davis in to get a look at him and see if he might fit into their plans going forward.
While it doesn't appear Davis will be back, the one thing his signing did seem to do is push Peterman. There has been a lot of criticism directed Peterman's way over the years, but I thought he played pretty well down the stretch. It could obviously be a combination of factors that contributed to his improvement as the season went on, but a lot of people think having some competition was very beneficial. As it stands right now, he is expected to be back as the starter at right guard and Sims should be back as the starter at left guard.
Need going forward?
The Lions may have been able to get through 2011 with only a few guards on the team, but now is the time to add some depth and competition for training camp. I don't see the competition as being a free agent who could come in and immediately take over a starting job, but perhaps a draft pick might at the very least make things interesting at offensive guard next season. Just like at left tackle, there is a need for more depth and more talent, so there should be some moves made at the position this offseason.