Believe it or not, we’re less than a month away from the “tampering” period of free agency. March 14 is when teams can start negotiating with agents of soon-to-be free agents, with the league year starter two days later.
So it’s time to start thinking about dream scenarios for the Detroit Lions to add the talent this team needs to compete. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Matt Bowen got the ball rolling on Tuesday by listing the top 50 free agents and the best team fits for each player.
While none of the Lions’ 13 unrestricted free agents made ESPN’s top-50 list, the team was linked to one free agent that could look good in Honolulu Blue. Enter Arizona Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk.
“With $20 million in cap space and one of the league’s weaker receiving corps, the Lions are well-positioned to sign a high-caliber player to bolster the passing game. That Kirk can lineup inside or out will help his free agency profile,” Fowler wrote.
A former second-round pick, Kirk is an interesting potential target. Though he mostly played in the slot this past year, he has previously split his time on the outside and inside. Some may think that overlaps with Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, but our own Erik Schlitt mentioned Kirk as a potential target this offseason and sees the potential of the two complementing each other nicely.
“If Detroit targets him, he and Amon-Ra St. Brown would likely each rotate between the slot and the outside (both are plenty capable), with the Sun God being the preferred option inside,” Schlitt wrote.
“A consistent route runner on schemed concepts who can also create for himself, Kirk would bring speed and vertical ability to the Lions’ pass game, which would complement the play style of Amon-Ra St. Brown in Detroit,” he wrote.
Kirk is also coming off a career year, catching 77 passes for 982 yards and five touchdowns for the Cardinals. That could drive his price up, but it’s also a pretty stacked free agency year for wide receivers. Still, Spotrac lists his current market value at $11.8 million per year, likely due to his young age (25).
Our friends at Revenge of the Birds predicted due to Arizona drafting Rondale Moore last year, they will let Kirk walk and get paid this offseason.
Kirk would likely be a pricey addition, but with him and St. Brown locked up, suddenly Detroit’s receiving group would be coming into form, and it would remain extremely young.
- The Detroit fellas at The Athletic posted a seven-round Lions mock that I have to imagine will be fairly crowd-pleasing.
- You may remember the heartwarming story Walter Payton Man of the Year Andrew Whitworth told about his reunion with Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes, whom he had visited years ago at a Boys & Girls Club. Well, after Whitworth won the Super Bowl on Sunday, Barnes had to give it up to the veteran offensive tackle:
Derrick Barnes giving some love to the person who inspired him all those years ago at the Boys and Girls club. pic.twitter.com/ehZCNxTUAL— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) February 14, 2022
- Speaking of the Super Bowl, Lions defensive tackle Michael Brockers, who was traded from the Rams to the Lions in 2021, was apparently hanging out at after parties with Aaron Donald on Sunday night. The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue (subscription required) has more on the post-game festivities.
- If you have any interest in hearing a hungover Matthew Stafford on one hour of sleep the morning after his Super Bowl win, he joined his wife’s podcast to talk about the game and the after parties. It’s a side of Matthew we rarely ever heard. He also did this afterward:
- With the Lions’ second first-round pick now set at 32, Mike O’Hara of DetroitLions.com looks at the history of players picked at that spot.