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Thursday open thread: How hard should the Lions pursue Arden Key?

Key is completing his visits before making a decision.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have several questions surrounding their pass rush and addressing it is still a glaring offseason need.

Starting edge rusher Romeo Okwara is still recovering from his Achilles injury and our last injury update in January showed he still had a ways to go. Trey Flowers has been released and while they recently re-signed Charles Harris, he still needs to prove he is capable of building on his breakout 2021 season. Beyond that, Julian Okwara is still on the verge of breaking out but still isn’t quite there. Austin Bryant is improving but may be close to his developmental ceiling. And the rest of the position group is comprised of practice squad level players looking for opportunities to prove themselves.

The Lions still have the NFL Draft to add more talent to the position, and they’re in a prime spot to grab a potential stud at pick No. 2 overall, but that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to pursue edge talent in free agency.

On Monday, free agent Arden Key visited the Lions on the first of a series of pre-planned team visits. He met with the Jaguars on Tuesday and the Ravens on Wednesday, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Key planned on completing all his visits—there may be more to come, as his complete itinerary has not been reported—and then making a decision at the end of his tour.

Despite leaving Detroit without signing a contract, Garafolo insisted that the Lions are “still very much in play” to sign Key during the free agency period, and that brings us to our question of the day:

How hard should the Lions pursue Arden Key?

Here are the options in our poll:

Throw the bank at him. Pass rush is vital in the NFL and you can never have enough options, especially position versatile ones. His ability to generate pressure can work long-term for the Lions as a situational pass rusher, but he is also capable of holding down a starting role if Romeo Okwara isn’t ready to return for the beginning of the season. The Lions need to add talent to this spot and he’s one of the best remaining options.

Wait patiently and stick to their offer. While adding to the position is a priority the Lions don’t necessarily need to deviate from their rebuilding plans for one free agent—and so far, they’ve followed that philosophy. They still have a high pick in the draft to add a weapon, and with nine draft picks, they could double-dip if they feel they need to add more depth.

Move on to other options. While the Lions can definitely compete with the Jaguars for free agents—hello, DJ Chark—the Ravens are a different story. After Za’Darius Smith backed out of a contract with Baltimore, they’re back on the market for a pass rusher and have the space to add a player like Key. The Ravens aren’t likely to get into a bidding war, but they also have a lot to offer.

My answer: I’m taking the patient route

Key is talented but he’s not a complete player right now and the Lions would be wise to be cautious with their salary cap funds. They have determined his value, likely offered him a deal they determine to be reasonable, and while there is always room for a little negotiation, they would do well to stick to the plan.

Ok, your turn. Vote in the poll and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Poll

How hard should the Lions pursue Arden Key?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Throw the bank at him
    (115 votes)
  • 88%
    Wait patiently and stick to their offer
    (2574 votes)
  • 7%
    Move on to other options
    (225 votes)
2914 votes total Vote Now