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Thursday open thread: How much should the Detroit Lions be willing to pay for a premier pass rusher?

It could cost the Lions upwards of $20 million in cap space to rope the best pass rusher in free agency. You cool with that?

Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As we near free agency and the NFL Draft, Detroit Lions fans eyes get wide open as they imagine the possibilities of improving this team to their liking. Whether their belief is to go all in and aggressively attack the offseason with their $35+ million they’re expected to have in cap space (after cuts) or to go a more subtle route and try to find discounts along the way and supplementing through the draft, the offseason always brings optimism and hope.

Most agree that edge rusher is among the team’s top needs. The Lions failed to create consistent pressure all season long, and with Ezekiel Ansah set to become a free agent, it’s hard not to disagree. But edge rushers don’t come along easy. Not only is it rare that a talented pass rusher hits the free agent market, but when they do, teams often have to empty their wallets in a bidding war to a get them.

Take, for example, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence is set to become a free agent—although Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says it’s a “huge priority” to re-sign him. Even though Lawrence is expected to have shoulder surgery this offseason, former sports agent Joel Corry believes he’s in for a humongous payday.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

Would you be willing to spend $20+ million/year on a talent the level of DeMarcus Lawrence?

My answer: I would not.

While I think a premier pass rusher is the second best position on the football field, the Lions are not in a position to be making moves like that. While I do think their defense is only a few players away (namely a DE and a CB2), the rest of the team has some serious needs: a couple tight ends, another wide receiver and running back, a right guard either for the immediacy or the future, and a backup quarterback. Those needs cannot all be filled through the draft, nor should the Lions try to fill all those needs with amateur players.

The Lions’ cap situation may look tantalizing, but when compared to the rest of the league, it’s really only average. Team with much more cap space than the Lions will be in a much better position to handle a huge contract like this and should be much more willing to take that risk.

That being said, if they could pull in a Trey Flowers for around $15 million a year, I think that may be worth it.

Your turn.


Would you be willing to spend $20 million/year on a premier pass rusher like DeMarcus Lawrence?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    (205 votes)
  • 88%
    (1564 votes)
1769 votes total Vote Now

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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.