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.
Back from last season: Louis Delmas, Don Carey, Amari Spievey, John Wendling, Ricardo Silva, Tyrell Johnson
New to the team: Glover Quin, Chris Hope, Martavius Neloms
Thanks in large part to injuries, the Lions really suffered from inconsistent play at safety last season. In order to help prevent that from happening this year, the Lions went out and signed Glover Quin to a five-year deal worth $23.5 million. Since entering the NFL in 2009, Quin has only missed one game, and he is expected to make a big impact on the Lions defense this year and beyond.
Signing Quin was so important for the Lions because Louis Delmas can't stay healthy. He dealt with knee issues throughout last season, and he missed all of the Lions' OTAs and their minicamp this year because he isn't 100 percent healthy. He seems to be getting close, but the Lions really can't count on him to be in the lineup on a regular basis. (This is why they signed him to an incentive-laden contract this offseason.)
If Delmas remains injured, Don Carey will continue to be a starter. He practiced with the first-team defense throughout the offseason, and he started six games for the Lions in 2012 after re-signing with the team during the season. He's more than capable of starting, and he provides some solid depth at safety.
Other solid depth at safety comes in the form of Amari Spievey, Ricardo Silva and Chris Hope, who just signed last week. Spievey and Silva both have starting experience with the Lions, and Hope has been a starter in the NFL since 2004. These three players will battle long shots Tyrell Johnson and Martavius Neloms for the backup spots on the 53-man roster.
John Wendling also has some starting experience at safety for the Lions, but his main contributions to the team will continue to be on special teams.
Need going forward?
After signing Quin and adding Hope as extra veteran depth, this position is set. Injury concerns remain with Delmas, but this is actually a pretty deep position. Quin and Delmas are the starters, and the Lions have Carey, Spievey, Silva and Hope ready to hit the field if necessary. Unless somebody goes down with a significant injury, it's hard to imagine anybody else of note will be added at safety before the season.