As we start to look ahead to training camp, we're going to take a position-by-position look at the Detroit Lions roster. Next up is the safety position. (The final year of each player's contract is listed in parentheses.)
The major storyline at safety this offseason for the Lions was the release of Louis Delmas. He became a cap casualty, and the Lions ultimately replaced him with James Ihedigbo, who decided to follow Teryl Austin from Baltimore to Detroit. Ihedigbo is set to start at strong safety, meaning that Glover Quin will be the Lions' starting free safety.
The top backup at safety is once again Don Carey. Carey has the ability to contribute on special teams, and he can serve as the Lions' nickelback and step in if a starting safety can't play. That versatility is nice to have, and it's a big reason why the Lions signed him to a three-year extension at the end of last season.
The other safeties currently expected to make the 53-man roster are DeJon Gomes and Isa Abdul-Quddus. They're mainly special teams guys, but both players have past starting experience with other teams. They will try to hold off undrafted free agents Jerome Couplin and Gabe Lynn, who could make things interesting at safety with strong performances this summer.
Need going forward?
For 2014, the Lions seem quite comfortable with the players they already have at safety. Quin and Ihedigbo form a good pair of starters, and the Lions have a few backups with starting experience. Plus, their two undrafted free agents are pretty intriguing. In the long term, it could turn out that Ihedigbo isn't the answer next to Quin, but this position appears to be set for this year.