Free agents: John Wendling (UFA)
With Louis Delmas becoming a cap casualty last month, the Lions have a starting spot to fill at safety. One spot is locked down by Glover Quin, who joined the Lions as a free agent last year, but the other spot atop the depth chart is currently vacant.
If the Lions elect to fill Delmas' spot internally, Don Carey would be the favorite to step into the starting lineup. Carey got a three-year extension after the 2013 season, and he filled in for Delmas at times in 2012. Last year, Carey saw some time as the Lions' nickelback, but his best position seems to be safety.
The Lions' other backups at safety are DeJon Gomes, Isa Abdul-Quddus and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (try saying that group of names three times fast). Gomes spent most of 2013 on the Lions' special teams units, and that's likely where he will be again in 2014. The same goes for Abdul-Quddus, who was claimed off waivers this offseason from the New Orleans Saints. Both players have a good chance to make the team as special teams contributors who could see action at safety if needed. Owusu-Ansah, who spent one game on the Lions' 53-man roster after joining their practice squad toward the end of last season, is basically in the same situation, but he will likely just end up being a camp body.
The only free agent at safety for the Lions is John Wendling. He was consistently among the Lions' top special teams players in recent years, but the team has already indicated that he won't be re-signed this offseason.
Need going forward?
Generally speaking, the Lions have decent depth at safety, but they need another starting-caliber player at this position. The door hasn't been closed on Delmas possibly returning to take back his old spot, but it's more likely that the Lions will bring somebody else in to start alongside Quin. They could simply sign a free agent, or they could opt to wait until the draft to address this need.