The Detroit Lions have several defensive players set to hit the open market once free agency opens this year. At one time, two of the players on the list were linebacker Ashlee Palmer and safety Don Carey. That was before the Lions extended their deals, though. These extensions apparently happened toward the end of the season, but they remained under wraps until general manager Martin Mayhew had his end-of-season press conference on Wednesday.
Someone asked earlier, Ashlee Palmer did sign a contract to come back next season, as did Don Carey.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) January 3, 2013
Palmer was the Lions' top backup at linebacker in 2012 and even started two games when DeAndre Levy was out. With both Levy and Justin Durant set to become free agents this offseason, Palmer is somebody who could have a shot at becoming a starter in 2013.
As for Carey, he made six starts in 2012. He ended up with 39 tackles, 5 pass defenses and 2 interceptions. With Louis Delmas hitting the open market and Amari Spievey only now being cleared from his latest concussion, Carey could have a shot at being one of the starting safeties next season.