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 Josh Bynes.
13 games (0 starts) | 22 tackles, 1 PD, 1 FR, 1 INT
How he joined the Lions
Signed off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad in September 2014.
Case for re-signing him
Even though the Lions aren't planning to tender Bynes, who is a restricted free agent, they have indicated that they want to re-sign him. Why? Well, despite joining the Lions a few weeks into the 2014 season after being on Baltimore's practice squad, Bynes seemingly picked up the defense fairly quickly. Once he got into the rotation at linebacker, he averaged nearly 20 snaps a game, and he seems to have the potential to play all three linebacker spots. Since the Lions aren't tendering him, they seem confident that Bynes can be re-signed for cheap, so that's another reason to bring him back.
Case against re-signing him
Without a restricted free agent tender, Bynes will become an unrestricted free agent. Even if a huge market doesn't develop for him from a salary standpoint, Bynes could simply opt to sign with a team with less of a logjam at linebacker. The Lions already have DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch, Tahir Whitehead, Kyle Van Noy, Julian Stanford, Travis Lewis and Jerrell Harris under contract, and they could potentially re-sign Ashlee Palmer as well. At that point, it might not even make sense to add yet another linebacker to the mix, and it certainly might not be worth it if Bynes wants to play elsewhere after not being tendered as a restricted free agent.
Bynes seems to have a lot of potential, and I could even see the Lions developing him into a starter down the road. With this in mind, I definitely think they should try to re-sign him. Not tendering him might make this a bit more difficult than originally expected, but then again, Bynes was merely a practice-squad player before the Lions signed him last season. Chances are the Lions would have tendered him if they thought there was a real chance of losing him, so this seems like a situation where he should be re-signed at some point.
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, LB Ashlee Palmer