As a precursor to free agency and the NFL Draft, Pride Of Detroit will take a look at each position on the Detroit Lions roster. We begin the series with a look at the quarterback position.
Under contract: Matthew Stafford (through 2014 + club option for 2015), Shaun Hill (through 2013), Kellen Moore (through 2014)
Free agents: None
The Detroit Lions appear to be set for 2013 when it comes to the quarterback position. They have their starter set in stone, and there is no controversy surrounding the top of the depth chart. Their backup is also set, and in his one appearance last season, he proved why he is among the very best backups in all of football by leading a remarkable comeback against the Tennessee Titans to force overtime. The Lions also have a third-string quarterback they are grooming to become a future backup.
The only real question about Stafford this offseason involves his contract situation. Because of his large cap hit for 2013, the Lions need to sign him to a new deal. It would give them cap relief and the nice feeling of knowing that their franchise quarterback is locked up to a long-term deal. While Stafford still has a lot to prove given his inconsistent play in 2012, the Lions remain confident that he is indeed their franchise quarterback.
Shaun Hill is set to enter the final year of his contract with the Lions in 2013. He hasn't had to do much the past two seasons, but that is a good thing, as it means Stafford has been able to stay healthy for the most part. When Hill has been called upon, he has performed well. Unless he somehow becomes a cap casualty -- his cap hit for 2013 is $3.25 million -- Hill should remain the Lions' backup next season.
The other quarterback on the roster right now is Kellen Moore. He did enough in the preseason last year to make the 53-man roster, but he wasn't active for any games in 2012. This was by design since the only way he would have been active is if there were injuries. This should be the plan for 2013 as well. Moore will get a chance to work on his game and develop behind the scenes, but he won't dress unless there is an injury. Perhaps he will progress enough to become the Lions' backup in 2014.
Need going forward?
Just as they did last year, I wouldn't be surprised if the Lions add a fourth quarterback as a camp body and to give Moore some competition. If they do sign someone, it'll probably be an undrafted free agent since there isn't any real need here. Unless someone gets seriously injured, the Lions already appear to be set at quarterback.