It doesn't look as though the Detroit Lions are planning to bring back linebacker Justin Durant, who became an unrestricted free agent last week. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was asked on Monday about where things stand with Durant, and while he didn't completely close the door on re-signing him, it doesn't sound like Durant is in the Lions' future plans. From the Lions' official site:
"I really don't know how it's going to play out," Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said Monday at the NFL League Meetings when asked about Durant. "I know we've got some young guys we drafted at that position. We kind of want to see those guys."
The Lions did re-sign DeAndre Levy, leaving only one starting spot open at outside linebacker. The speculation was that the Lions were planning to give guys like Tahir Whitehead and Travis Lewis a shot at starting, and Mayhew essentially confirmed that speculation with what he said on Monday. Ashlee Palmer also figures to be in the mix, so the Lions must feel confident that one of those three guys will step up and take over the starting job Durant held the past two seasons.
If a situation arises where there's an injury or the Lions feel like they aren't getting enough out of the new starter at outside linebacker, then perhaps Durant could be brought back if he's still available. For now, though, the Lions appear to be comfortable moving forward with Whitehead, Lewis and Palmer competing for the starting spot previously held by Durant.