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. (The final year of each player's contract is listed in parentheses.)
Back from last season: Glover Quin (2017), James Ihedigbo (2015), Isa Abdul-Quddus (2015), Don Carey (2016), Nate Ness (2015)
New to the team: Isaiah Johnson (2017), Brian Suite (2017), Taylor Mays (2015)
Last season, Glover Quin became one of the top safeties in the entire NFL. He led the league in interceptions, made the Pro Bowl and played a big role in the Lions having such a dominant defense. Going into the 2015 season, he's viewed as one of the Lions' top defensive players and a real leader in the locker room.
At the other safety spot, James Ihedigbo had a pretty good season overall in 2014. He made a lot of plays, although he did deal with some inconsistency down the stretch. He was actually even benched, leading to an interesting dynamic this offseason with him wanting a new contract. At this point, it doesn't appear that the Lions have any interest in redoing Ihedigbo's deal, but I can't imagine he will continue to make it an issue by holding out from training camp or something like that.
One reason why Ihedigbo has incentive to be at all of training camp is the presence of Isa Abdul-Quddus. Abdul-Quddus did quite well in place of an injured Ihedigbo at the start of last season, and he showed an ability to contribute at multiple spots in the secondary. Add in his special teams skills and Abdul-Quddus is the clear-cut top backup at safety, and he seems to have the potential to be a starter down the road.
Also at safety are Don Carey, Nate Ness, Taylor Mays and undrafted free agents Isaiah Johnson and Brian Suite. Chances are there is only going to be one spot up for grabs for all of these players, so it will be interesting to see who emerges from the pack during training camp. Carey seems to be quite highly thought of by the Lions' coaches and front office, but it certainly wouldn't be surprising if the Lions go in a different direction at safety this year given how many other options they have.
Need going forward?
The Lions are pretty much set at safety. They have their two starters (assuming there is no Ihedigbo holdout), and they have a backup who can step in as a starter as well. What's more, they have a variety of other players ready to compete for the likely final spot at safety in training camp. I can't see the Lions making any notable moves at safety at this point in time.
Previously: Quarterback, running back, fullback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive tackle, offensive guard, center, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback