Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew put all speculation about what will happen with offensive tackle Jeff Backus this offseason to rest today when he met with the media. Despite his injury and free agent status, it is likely that Backus will return to the Lions for his 12th season as the team's starting left tackle. Although it's unclear what a new deal will look like or when one will be worked out, Mayhew made it clear he wants Backus to stay in Detroit.
Mayhew also said he talked to left tackle Jeff Backus on Wednesday inquiring about his biceps surgery on Monday. The surgery went well and Backus, who is an unrestricted free agent, wants to return for his 12th season. Mayhew said they want him back too.
Assuming Backus is in fact re-signed, the projected starters on the offensive line will be the same as the last two seasons: LT Backus, LG Rob Sims, C Dominic Raiola, RG Stephen Peterman and RT Gosder Cherilus. It is worth noting that the Lions took a look at offensive guard Leonard Davis during the latter half of the season, but he is set to become a free agent, so Peterman is projected to retain the starting right guard job.
Of course, the NFL Draft needs to happen, Backus needs to be re-signed and free agency needs to open before any of these projections are locked in. I think it's unlikely that any changes will be made to the starters on the O-line for next season, but things could always change due to an injury, trade or draft pick.
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