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Lions notes: Analyst believes Detroit should invest in free agent safety

An NFL analyst suggests the Lions use free agency to beef up the defense.

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Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With free agency on the horizon, one analyst suggests the Detroit Lions bolster the safety position come the new league year.

Around the NFL writer Nick Shook examined the needs of each NFC team as free agency approaches and suggested the Lions make a move on defense by nabbing safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

“This might seem like a bit of a reach for the Lions, but Detroit could use a splash signing in the secondary and has the cap space (projected $46 million) to get it done,” he writes.

The 27-year-old out of Alabama and first-rounder in the 2014 draft is no stranger to the NFC North, having first been drafted by Green Bay where he’d spend about 4 and a half seasons. The Packers then traded Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins, where he finished out the 2018 season.

Clinton-Dix signed a $3 million prove-it contract with Chicago in 2019 — perhaps to parlay that into a long-term deal. Now the Bears must decide whether to bring him back. The 2016 Pro Bowler finished the season with 78 tackles, five passes defended, two fumbles recovered, and two interceptions — one returned for a touchdown — in 16 games.

Shook calls Clinton-Dix one of the best strong safety options on the open market, but: “This only happens if the Lions don’t retain Tavon Wilson, who played well in Detroit but is headed toward a pay raise this offseason,” he writes.

Wilson, a former New England Patriot who just finished up his eighth year in the league, is also scheduled to hit free agency. After the Lions traded Quandre Diggs midseason, Wilson was the veteran in the room. Should the Lions decide against keeping him, they’ll need someone else with enough experience to not only get the job done, but help younger guys, like last year’s third-round pick Will Harris, get up to speed.

Onto the rest of your notes.

  • I’ve been enjoying Pro Football Focus’ Signature Stat Spotlight series, which looks at a position and the advanced stats that impact evaluating that player at the NFL and FBS level. Kenny Golladay gets a special shout out for a particular stat.
  • Looks like former Lions tight end Michael Roberts is heading to Miami.
  • First, he looked at the offense, now The Athletic’s Chris Burke is mapping out which of the top 100 free agents fit the Lions’ defense. (Subscription required)
  • A combine preview featuring notable linebackers from detroitlions.com’s Tim Twentyman.
  • The Lions are pretty good at picking up cornerbacks like Rashaan Melvin who have an immediate impact. The Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon lists six free-agent cornerbacks the team should consider this year.
  • Good stuff. It was also his birthday yesterday: