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Friday open thread: Who should the Detroit Lions prioritize in free agency?

Players can begin negotiating with prospective teams beginning March 14th at noon ET

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL offseason is off to a roaring start, with three huge trades in as many days. The quarterback carousel seems to be in full swing, with quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz on the move. Then today, news broke of a trade between the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Chargers that will send All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack to the west coast (and more importantly, out of the NFC North).

On top of the aforementioned trades, franchise tags have also drastically altered the free agent market, especially at positions like wide receiver.

So where does all of this leave the Detroit Lions and their approach to free agency?

Who should the Lions prioritize when free agency opens next week?

Free agency officially opens at the start of the new league year - March 16th, 1 PM ET. However, free agents can begin negotiating with prospective teams as soon as March 14th at noon ET.

In the last few weeks, there have been several names floated in connection with the Lions. Some more than others, and while the Lions don’t have the most salary cap room in the league, they have significantly more than last year. Enough to make a splash signing or two, if they so choose.

My answer: Marcus Williams

For obvious reasons, there has been plenty of chatter about Marcus Williams and the safety’s connection to the Lions’ coaching staff.

After being drafted 42nd overall in the 2017 draft, Williams spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints. So both defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, and coach Dan Campbell are going to be very familiar with Williams and what he brings to the table as a safety.

Range, playmaking, instincts. Williams has just about everything you could want out of a free safety. Being only 25 years old, he will have plenty of teams inquiring about his services. I don’t necessarily want the Lions to break the bank for any single player. They just aren’t at that stage of the rebuild yet.

But with Williams, I think he is a player you can crack open the pocketbook for. Since he would (in theory) still be in his prime when this thing is supposed to come together.

What do you all think? Who do you think the Lions should make a run at once free agency opens next week? Let us know in the comments.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.