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Lions free-agent profile: Tyrunn Walker seems likely to return

It makes a lot of sense for the Detroit Lions to re-sign Tyrunn Walker.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

To get ready for free agency, we're going to take a look at each of the Detroit Lions' 2016 free agents. Next up, Tyrunn Walker.

2015 stats

4 games (4 starts) | 9 tackles

How he joined the Detroit Lions

Walker signed a one-year deal with the Lions as a free agent during the 2015 offseason.

Case for re-signing him

Walker showed a lot of promise before suffering a brutal, season-ending injury just four weeks into the season. The Lions are perilously thin at the defensive tackle position, especially after releasing C.J. Wilson on Friday. Detroit only has Caraun Reid, Gabe Wright and Kerry Hyder currently under contract. Walker is still very young (turns 26 next month) and should be fully healed by the start of next season.

Case against re-signing him

It is always a bit scary re-signing a player who just suffered a major injury, especially in the knees. Additionally, though Walker showed promise in 2015, he only played in four games. The Lions really don't know what they have in him, and they may just want to move on to a safer, more proven commodity. With their ever-growing cap space, they have the ammunition to go after a big free agent, like the Jets' Muhammad Wilkerson (if he doesn't receive the franchise tag).

Final verdict

The Lions would be best served to give Walker another shot in Detroit. Coming off an injury, he's likely to come fairly cheap, and his ceiling is still quite high. While you may think the Lions' new general manager Bob Quinn would look for his own kind of guy in free agency, it's important to remember that the Patriots were also trying to grab Walker in 2015. Quinn is very familiar with Walker's talent, and was apparently smitten with him last year. I think that makes Walker's return highly likely in 2016.

Previously: QB Dan Orlovsky, WR Lance Moore, TE Bear Pascoe

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.