The Detroit Lions have fortunately not needed their backup quarterback much the last few years. Aside from when he helped lead the Lions' miraculous comeback to force overtime against the Tennessee Titans in 2012, Shaun Hill has only played in garbage time since 2011. He got extensive playing time in 2010, but Matthew Stafford has started every game in the three years since then.
Even though the Lions haven't needed him very much in recent years, Hill has served as excellent insurance as their backup quarterback. However, he's headed for free agency this offseason, leaving the Lions with a decision to make. Do they stand pat and elevate Kellen Moore to the backup spot, re-sign Hill or add a different veteran quarterback to be their backup? According to Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, it's probably going to be one of the non-Moore options.
Martin Mayhew says Lions to explore free-agent market for veteran backup QB, but search also includes incumbent No. 2 Shaun Hill.— Mike O'Hara (@MikeOHaraNFL) February 21, 2014
Mayhew on K. Moore as 2nd QB: "I haven’t seen enough of him in actual games to say that you just role with him and you feel great about it."— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) February 21, 2014
The last thing the Lions need is to be unprepared for a potential injury involving Stafford, so making sure they have a proven backup is important. Re-signing Hill would be the simplest solution, but it remains to be seen if they will be able to afford him. His last deal was for two years and $5.5 million, and I can't imagine the Lions want to spend that much this time around.