To get ready for free agency, we're going to take a look at each of the Detroit Lions' 2015 free agents. Next up is linebacker Ashlee Palmer.
16 games (5 starts) | 12 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 PD
How he joined the Lions
Claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills in February 2010.
Case for re-signing him
Palmer has been a pretty dependable linebacker for several years now. He's quite good on special teams, and he seems comfortable being in a backup role at linebacker. He also seems comfortable when the Lions occasionally call upon him to start at linebacker, and that kind of versatility is really valuable. Considering Palmer can probably be re-signed for cheap, keeping him around would make a lot of sense.
Case against re-signing him
The biggest case against re-signing Palmer is the simple idea that the Lions already have too many linebackers as it is. They reportedly want to bring back Josh Bynes, and they already have DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Tahir Whitehead, Kyle Van Noy, Julian Stanford, Travis Lewis and Jerrell Harris under contract. Is Palmer better than some of those players? Sure. But why devote extra resources to a position that is already overflowing with talent?
As long as the Lions can re-sign him for the minimum or something close to that, I really don't see the harm in bringing back Palmer. As mentioned, he's a versatile player who can contribute on both defense and special teams, and it's not like the Lions would have to lock him into a spot on the 53-man roster. They can evaluate the situation at linebacker in training camp, and if Palmer finds himself on the outside looking in, so be it. In the meantime, as long as the price is right, there's really no downside in keeping Palmer around.
Previously: QB Dan Orlovsky, QB Kellen Moore, FB Jed Collins, WR Jeremy Ross, TE Kellen Davis, OT Corey Hilliard, OG Rob Sims, OG Garrett Reynolds, C Dominic Raiola, DE Darryl Tapp, DE George Johnson, DT Ndamukong Suh, DT Nick Fairley, DT C.J. Mosley, DT Andre Fluellen