The Detroit Lions have 23 players set to become unrestricted free agents next month. The lengthy list includes many notable names, and Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said on Friday at the NFL Combine that there is a focus on re-signing nine of those players. He declined to name the nine players, instead saying this (via the Free Press):
"I’ll put it like this, and maybe you guys can identify it, but there are about nine guys that we’re really focused on," Mayhew said. "There’s a bunch of other guys, and we’re in contact with them. But there’s some guys that we’re very focused on, and I won’t prioritize it. But that’s where we are."
Given that Mayhew said that they are in contact with the other guys, it's important to keep in mind that they are interested in re-signing more than just nine of their unrestricted free agents. However, it's clear that nine free agents stand out in Mayhew's mind as being more important to re-sign.
Based on this information, let's try to guess which nine free agents Mayhew is most interested in re-signing. My list looks like this: WR Kassim Osgood, OT Corey Hilliard, DE Cliff Avril, DE Lawrence Jackson, DT Sammie Hill, LB Justin Durant, CB Chris Houston, S Louis Delmas and K Jason Hanson. Note that I did not include OT Gosder Cherilus, mainly because I feel like he isn't a top priority for the Lions given their depth at offensive tackle and the kind of salary he will probably command.
What does your list look like?