The subject of this post is very simple; what free agents are available for the Detroit Lions and their positional needs? After reading through a lot of posts and POD user comments, I think we can agree that the needs that must be addressed for Detroit going into the off season are; DE, S, CB, LB, OL, RB and P. To make things interesting, however, I will not include the Lions own free agents. The Lions have 23 unrestricted free agents and it could honestly turn out to be a crap shoot of who does and who doesn't come back.
The following list of free agents is not listed in any particular order nor is the position. I know some of these players are unrealistic reaches due to the Lions cap/team situation. Also I will admit that I have not done my homework on many of these guys. Im just throwing out names to generate conversation. Please feel free to throw in some more names that I might have missed!
- William Hayes, Rams, 28
- Matt Shaughnessy, Raiders, 26
- Turk McBride, Saints, 28
- honestly... the free agent list for defensive ends is very, shall we say, "poopy"
- Jarius Byrd, Bills, 26
- Chris Clemons, Dolphins, 27
- Patrick Chung, Patriots, 26
- Jim Leonhard, Broncos, 30
- James Ihedigbo, Ravens, 29
- Sam Shields, Packers, 25 (RFA)
- Keenan Lewis, Steelers, 27
- Brent Grimes, Falcons, 30
- Captain Munnerlyn, Panthers, 25
- Derek Cox, Jaguars, 26
- Tracy Porter, Broncos, 27
- Brad Jones, Packers, ILB, 27
- Dannelle Ellerbe, Ravens, ILB, 27
- Will Witherspoon, Titans, OLB, 33
- Geno Hayes, Bears, OLB, 26
- once again... "poopy" describes the free agent list of LBs
- Jake Long, Dolphins, T, 28
- Bryant McKinnie, Ravens, T, 33
- Jason Smith, Jets, T, 27
- Louis Vasquez, Chargers, G, 26
- Donald Thomas, Patriots, G, 27
- Fernando Velasco, Titans, C, 28
- Reggie Bush, Dolphins, 28
- Felix Jones, Cowboys, 26
- Danny Woodhead, Patriots, 28
- Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers, 26
As a side note, I am not advocating for the Lions to go out and sign a bunch of free agents. Championship teams are built through the draft, not free agency. The Detroit Pistons clearly proved that you can not win a championship through free agency (thank you Ben Gordon and Charlie-V) but, FO's are going to miss on draft picks, it happens. Also, after scouring through the free agent list, I tried to stay away from the older guys who appeared to have a down season.