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With NFL chargeless bureau beneath than a anniversary away, the Detroit Lions accept an befalling to ster the agenda with a array of abeyant additions to the den.
General administrator Martin Mayhew will activate negotiating with amateur agents on March 8th, and the aggregation will be able to assurance players alpha March 11th according to the alliance agenda at CBS Sports.
Detroit abstracts to be arcade for starters at advanced receiver, assurance and conceivably cornerback in chargeless agency. A bound end or linebacker would not be a absolute surprise, either.
As of March 5th, the Lions accept about $11 actor in cap room, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Chargeless Press:
$11 actor or so “@dczuk8208: how abundant are lions beneath the cap now?”
That amount is fluid, however. Ndamukong Suh will accept a new arrangement at some point that will chargeless up millions in added room, as acclaimed by Rotoworld.
How will the Lions advance chargeless agency? Here are a few addendum and predictions…
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New Lions arch drillmaster Jim Caldwell will accept a lot of ascribe on the amateur accretion process. He’s abiding to admiration some accustomed faces from his old haunts.
Caldwell was the arch drillmaster in Indianapolis from 2009-11, and again served on the agents in Baltimore for the aftermost two seasons.
Three above Caldwell underlings all fit roles that Detroit needs:
Bethea (pictured) is a above Colt, while Ihedigbo and Jones both are advancing off tenures with the Ravens.
Since absolution amateur Louis Delmas, the Lions accept a big aperture at safety. It makes faculty to affix players with acquaintance to Caldwell’s appearance and system.
Ihedigbo is advancing off his best season, his aboriginal as a amateur in Baltimore. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded the 30-year old as the 16th-best assurance in the NFL in 2013. It’s account acquainted that new Lions arresting coordinator Teryl Austin was Ihedigbo’s position drillmaster in Baltimore.
Bethea has struggled the aftermost two seasons, but reuniting with Caldwell could reignite his career. Twice he fabricated the Pro Bowl (2007 and 2009, address of Pro Football Reference) in Indianapolis, and did so arena added of the chargeless assurance role he would amount to accept in Detroit.
Jones danced his way to hero cachet in Baltimore’s Super Bowl season, and his abysmal acceleration is article the Lions covet beyond from Calvin Johnson. He’s additionally an able bang returner, which adds to his allure.
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The free-agent advanced receiver chic appearance abounding players who are not in the high aptitude echelon. Instead, it’s abounding with complementary-type wideouts that will command second-tier cachet on best teams.
That’s absolute for the Lions, who accept a superstar in Calvin Johnson but little abroad at the position.
Many of the lists of top chargeless abettor wideouts, including these from Chris Wesseling at NFL.com and Nick Kostos at Bleacher Report, affection the above accepted suspects. Players like James Jones, Emmanuel Sanders and Hakeem Nicks will all draw abounding suitors.
Expect the Lions to ambush adamantine on one of these players.
Each offers article a little different and inherently advantageous for Detroit.
Jones (pictured) deserves able consideration. For years he’s been allotment of Green Bay’s abounding casual attack. As Alessandro Miglio of Bleacher Report noted:
Jones is a solid No. 2 receiver, as he has been during his administration in Green Bay.
He’s accessible to accord appropriate out of the box as the commutual weapon Detroit abominably needs. Per NFL.com, Jones led all NFL receivers with 14 touchdowns in 2012, admitting he fell aback in 2013 amid a accessory knee abrasion and the abortion of the Green Bay breach aback Aaron Rodgers got hurt.
Sanders would accommodate the acknowledgment at the aperture position, area he’s thrived in Pittsburgh. As Nick Kostos addendum in the above Bleacher Report article:
Last season, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders set career highs in receptions (67), yards (740) and touchdowns (six)
That’s absolutely the affectionate of assembly the Lions allegation in the slot. With 2012 second-rounder Ryan Broyles advancing off his third above abrasion in as abounding seasons, Detroit would be astute to advancement that atom with a added accurate performer.
Nicks is an enigma, admitting a accomplished one. He’s advancing off a afflicted division area he bootless to t a distinct touchdown pass. And as Jordan Raanan of NJ.com reported, Nicks was fined abundant times for actuality backward to meetings.
Still, Nicks was a top-20 wideout in both 2011 and 2012 according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required) He’s aloof 26 and has a career yards per t boilerplate of 14.9 (h/t Pro Football Reference). Accede this as well…
In 2013: Hakeem Nicks, in a bad year, had 56 catches for 896 yards. Riley Cooper, in his best year, had 47 catches for 835 yards …
Cooper aloof re-signed with the Eagles for bristles years and $25 million, as tweeted by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Some added names Detroit ability cloister in chargeless agency:
Look for the Lions to ambush on at atomic one of these receivers in the aboriginal few canicule of chargeless agency.
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Veteran bound end Brandon Pettigrew is one of the few Detroit chargeless agents that stands a adventitious of abiding to the Lions.
According to Paula Pasche of the Oakland Press, he’s still a antecedence alike admitting the Lions adopted to not use the authorization tag on the above first-round pick:
Brandon Pettigrew now best advantage as chargeless abettor bound end. #Lions Mayhew said re-signing him is priority. Blog >> http://t.co/qFssE0sovw
This is a bearings area it behooves both parties to act quickly.
For the Lions, they apperceive Pettigrew’s d and what his amount is to the team. With the almost bound cap space, Detroit can access Pettigrew with that amount in mind. If he wants more, apprehend the aggregation to apace ambition him able-bodied in his approaching endeavors.
As for Pettigrew, he needs to ascertain how abominably the Lions appetite him back. If their action isn’t what he expects, he allegation bound move on and bazaar his articles to added teams. Otherwise, he will be cat-and-mouse for counter-offers from Detroit that are absurd to appear while added bound ends breeze up the richer deals.
If Pettigrew doesn’t accept a new arrangement in Detroit aural the aboriginal few hours of chargeless agency, he will acceptable not be aback with the Lions aing season.
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While it’s fun to daydream about block the top free-agent names, the Lions are not absolutely contenders to attempt with teams that accept added abounding cap allowance and banknote to spend.
Former Bills assurance Jairus Byrd (pictured) would accomplish a absurd accession to the den, but his sticker amount abstracts to be added than the Lions could allegation to their salary-cap acclaim card. As Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com notes:
You accept to accede the cost. Acceptable to get a huge deal. @Bronco_Dago: @ttwentyman Why wouldn’t Jairus Byrd be #1 amateur the Lions target.
A agnate affair comes up with top cornerback Vontae Davis. As Aaron Nagler states in the Bleacher Report Video “Detroit Lions Top Chargeless Bureau Targets at Cornerback”, he too abstracts to command a exceptional that the Lions aloof cannot afford.
Eric Decker at advanced receiver? He’s the top-shelf Johnnie Walker Blue, and the Lions can almost allow the Black-label whiskey.
The Lions will do some window shopping, but do not apprehend a spending splurge on a prominent, big-ticket target.
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The NFL free-agent rumor comminute has featured adored little Lions affair this year. The sounds of blackout do not beggarly that Detroit isn’t acute a abruptness move or two, however.
Nobody absolutely knows what all Martin Mayhew has up his sleeves.
Maybe he throws a action and signs a adept advancement quarterback. The accepted administrator has already gone on almanac that he wants antagonism for Kellen Moore abaft Matthew Stafford:
Mayhew on K. Moore as 2nd QB: “I haven’t apparent abundant of him in absolute amateur to say that you aloof role with him and you feel abundant about it.”
Perhaps an under-the-radar linebacker like Arthur Moats, aforetime of the Buffalo Bills, is in order. As Eric Edholm of Yahoo opined:
Jack of all trades, adept of none, but a able amateur who wins with instincts and hustle. Could fit with a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme, and he helps on appropriate teams, too.
It would be a absolute abruptness if the Lions active a kicker…
Good kicker, but they wouldn’t absorb on Hanson aftermost yr, aren’t now. Tavecchio, Potter or amateur KevinLanG20: Steven Hauska, account signing?”
…but the Lions do allegation a backup for David Akers, and neither amateur Birkett mentioned has any NFL experience.
It’s adamantine to say what lies abaft Mayhew’s wry smile. We’ll aloof accept to be accommodating and achievement it’s a affable surprise.
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