clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Five Lions storylines to follow this offseason

Which Detroit Lions storylines should you be following this offseason?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

1. Re-sign Ndamukong Suh

There may not be a more interesting storyline in the entire NFL than what happens to Ndamukong Suh this offseason. At this point the speculation runs the gamut from the Detroit Lions signing him to a long-term deal, to using the franchise tag, to simply letting him walk in free agency. It's tough to see the Lions using the franchise tag and $36 million in cap space to keep Suh around for one year. It's also tough to envision them letting him walk, but, frankly, at this point the Lions need Suh more right now than he needs them.

2. Keep drafting well

That chart isn't completely up to date, but you get the idea. It hasn't always been pretty. Martin Mayhew, however, may finally be hitting his stride as far as the draft process goes. In the early years he took too much input from his coaches and ended up with guys like Mikel Leshoure and Titus Young. Since then he has brought in smart football people around him -- most notably Brian Xanders -- to help him redesign and shape the Lions' draft process. If the Lions want to pay their stars like Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh, they'll need to continue to develop younger, cheaper talent.

3. Develop Matthew Stafford

I'm not sure there has been an offseason in the last five years where he hasn't been a focal point. While fans clammer for more consistency and coaches heap praise, the true nature of the Lions' quarterback probably lies somewhere in between. He's far from perfect, but he's far from a bust, either. All that to say that this is indeed an important offseason for Stafford and Lions. It will be his second year in Joe Lombardi's offense, and he should take a big step forward in 2015. If the Lions want a shot at contending, he's going to need to.

4. Rebuild the offensive line

It wasn't all that long ago that the Lions offensive line seemed pretty well set. They had a decent mix of young and veteran talent and formed one of the top units in the league just two years ago. Well, those two years feel like decades and there are now more questions than answers when it comes to which players will be protecting the quarterback next season. After giving up 45 sacks in 2014, the Lions need to reassess where they're heading going into next season. They've already moved on from longtime center Dominic Raiola, and veteran guard Rob Sims could be next. They also need to figure out what to do at right tackle after shuffling one undrafted rookie after another there in 2014. The Lions could go out and spend money in free agency, but will they have enough cap room to cover the costs?

5. Get the offense on track

It's no secret that the Lions offense sputtered their way through the 2014 season. Some of that has to do with the previous two sections, but it's also on the play caller, running backs, tight ends, etc. Let's just say the whole unit needs improving. Another year in the system should do the unit wonders. It should also help Joe Lombardi learn his players more and fit the offense around them. If Ndamukong Suh isn't back next season, the Lions offense is going to have to step up big time for the team to make any noise in 2015.

Thanksgiving deal: Save 20% on PODD

What's more Lions than football on Thanksgiving!? To celebrate the holiday, use promo code GOLIONS20 to save 20% on your first year of Pride of Detroit Direct. Sign up today for exclusive game analysis, subscriber-only videos, and much more!