The second wave of free agency is here, and the Detroit Lions may be lining up to make their next set of moves. According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, the team is currently hosting two free agents: former Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis and Rams running back Malcolm Brown.
I'm told the Lions have a couple of players in for free agent visits: Former Saints WR/KR Tommylee Lewis and former Rams RB Malcolm Brown— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 15, 2019
Let’s start with Malcolm Brown, because it’s the more interesting of the two for a couple of reasons. First, Brown isn’t an unrestricted free agent. The Rams tendered him an original-round restricted free agent tender. That means the Rams have the option to match any deal Malcolm receives in free agency. If they refuse, they’d typically get compensated by Brown’s new team with a draft pick in the same round that Brown was taken. But because Brown went undrafted, they would receive no compensation if they do not choose to match contract terms.
Secondly, Brown makes a lot of sense as a fit for Detroit. Though they recently re-signed Zach Zenner to compete for the RB2 job, Brown was a strong backup running back behind Todd Gurley until he suffered a season-ending clavicle injury. He averaged a respectable 4.9 yards per carry, contributed heavily on special teams, and occasionally provided devastating blocks in pass protection:
Tommylee Lewis is a name you may remember from the NFC Championship game, when he was blasted early by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, but didn’t draw a flag.
Lewis, 26, hasn’t emerged in New Orleans as a significant receiving threat yet. He has only caught 20 balls in three seasons. However, he is a threat in kick and punt returns. Over his career, he’s averaged 22.0 yards per kick returns on 24 attempts and 9.3 yards per punt return on 36 attempts.
At 5-foot-7, 168 pounds, Lewis could contend for the Lions’ slot receiver role in the long-term, but Danny Amendola likely has the role locked up for 2019.