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2020 Detroit Lions free agent profiles: Did Oday Aboushi do enough to stick around?

The Lions have a lot of difficult decisions to make at the guard position.

Detroit Lions v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Among the Detroit Lions’ three guards facing free agency, Oday Aboushi is likely the forgotten one. The veteran offensive lineman signed a one-year deal in Detroit, and hung around the roster all year until finally getting his shot towards the end of the season.

With the guard position potentially seeing a major overhaul for the Lions this offseason, it’s important not to overlook Aboushi, who could weather the storm yet again. So will Aboushi be part of the team in 2020? Let’s take a closer look at his performance last year.

Previously in this series:

Oday Aboushi

Expectations before 2019

Aboushi was firmly on the roster bubble from the minute he signed with Detroit. The Lions already had a veteran guard they were comfortable with in a backup position in Kenny Wiggins, so Aboushi had an uphill battle through training camp to even figure into the Lions’ 2019 plans.

He would have to battle the likes of undrafted rookie Beau Benzschawel and versatile piece Leo Koloamatangi to make the 53-man roster, and even if he did, it was assumed he was only just an emergency piece.

Actual Role in 2019

2019 stats: 7 games played (2 starts)
PFF Grade: 57.7 (Did not qualify for rankings)

Aboushi passed the first test, earning himself a spot on the 53-man roster alongside Benzschawel, and Wiggins as the primary backups at guard.

For the first two months of the season, Aboushi was mostly inactive on gameday. However, when injuries started to pile up for the Lions, Aboushi was not only part of the active 46 on gameday, but he eventually got some playing time, too. He was part of the rotation late in the season, and after both Joe Dahl and Kenny Wiggins were placed on IR, Aboushi got the start in the final two games. In those two games, Aboushi graded out great in one (vs. Broncos) and poorly in the other (vs. Packers).

What should the Lions do with him?

Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

The case for re-signing:

Aboushi brings both familiarity with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system and starting experience. He’s likely a fairly cheap option to bring back, and he’s not the injury risk that Kenny Wiggins—who is rehabbing from torn bicep surgery—is.

Additionally, with Graham Glasgow’s future with the team in doubt, the Lions could use all of the experienced depth they can get at guard.

The case against re-signing:

Aboushi’s play has been replacement level for the majority of his career, and if the Lions see significant progress from a guy like Beau Benzschawel, it may make bringing Aboushi back moot.

Even if the Lions let both Glasgow and Wiggins hit free agency, it likely wouldn’t be hard to find someone at Aboushi’s level of play in free agency or on Day 2 or 3 of the NFL Draft.

My Thoughts:

The best thing Aboushi brings is experience and comfort in the Lions’ system. That sort of value shouldn’t be overlooked when nearly half of this unit is facing free agency. However, the recent addition of Josh Garnett suggests, to me, that they are planning on moving or upgrading from Aboushi.


What should the Lions do with Oday Aboushi?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Re-sign him
    (140 votes)
  • 69%
    Let him go
    (325 votes)
465 votes total Vote Now