The Detroit Lions have 18 players who are set to become unrestricted free agents when the new league year starts on Wednesday, March 17. As of Thursday night, the Lions have not re-signed a single one, but according to NFL insider Josina Anderson, they appear to be working on a deal with at least one of the 18.
Per Anderson, the Lions want to re-sign linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin to a new deal.
Reeves-Maybin was Detroit’s fourth-round pick in 2017, but hasn’t found much of a role on defense in his four years with the Lions. That being said, he’s been a major force on special teams, leading the team in snaps last year with 352.
Additionally, as we discussed last month, Reeves-Maybin may have a better chance at finding a defensive role under the new coaching regime. While Matt Patricia preferred strong, tall linebackers, the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints—two teams that will heavily influence Detroit’s new defensive scheme—value athleticism and coverage abilities. That falls within Reeves-Maybin’s wheelhouse at 6-foot, 233 pounds.
At age 26, Maybin could still have the prime of his career ahead of him, and new defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn may still see potential left in him. Even if he doesn’t reach his potential defensively, Reeves-Maybin would bring special teams value and linebacker depth for an affordable price.
Detroit has until Monday to reach a deal before Reeves-Maybin’s agent can start negotiating with other teams, though Reeves-Maybin won’t be able to officially sign with any other team than the Lions until March 17 at 4 p.m. ET.