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 Lions Own FA's - who to keep? 
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Post Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
Who ya keepin?

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TWENTYMAN: A look at the Detroit Lions' 22 free agents

Some interesting decisions lie ahead for the Detroit Lions and the future of some of their unrestricted, restricted and exclusive rights free agents

The Lions have been focused on 2014 since about an hour after losing to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17.

Part of that process has led them to a new head coach in Jim Caldwell and a lot of new faces in key positions on his staff.

The process of continuing to build a competitive roster will take place over the next few months with free agency (March 11) and the NFL Draft (May 8-10).

Part of the free agency process will be the Lions determining which of their own free agents they’ll want to resign, or part with.

Here’s a look at the 22 Detroit Lions free agents this offseason:

Unrestricted free agents (15)

David Akers, kicker: Akers had a tough task trying to fill the shoes of Jason Hanson on a one-year deal. He was 19-of-24 kicking field goals and had two touchbacks on four kickoff attempts. The Lions are likely going to be looking for a young kicker this offseason they can invest in long-term.

Andre Fluellen, defensive tackle: Fluellen’s value is that he can play any of the four positions along the defensive line. He’s a bottom-of-the-roster type of player, but a player who has value because of his experience and versatility.

Jason Fox, offensive tackle: Fox won the starting right tackle job out of training camp last season, but couldn’t stay healthy, which has been the problem his whole career. Fox has talent, but the Lions simply haven’t seen enough of it in game situations. LaAdrian Waddle seems to have that right tackle spot locked up, which makes Fox once again a depth player if he wants to stay in Detroit.

Dylan Gandy, center/guard: Gandy has made a living as a backup swing center/guard. He was used in an extra tight-end role some this year, too. He’s played in 120 career games, but has just 19 starts.

Shaun Hill, quarterback: Hill is widely considered one of the best backups in the NFL. His services, however, haven’t been needed the last two years with Stafford staying healthy. Do the Lions try to re-sign Hill or go younger? It should be noted he and Stafford have a great relationship.

Israel Idonije, defensive end: The Lions didn’t see the impact from Idonije they were hoping. After a 48-tackle, 7.5-sack performance for the Chicago Bears in 2012, Idonije had just 11 tackles and a half sack for the Lions this past season in limited playing time. He is a good veteran presence in the locker room.

Rashean Mathis, cornerback: A terrific signing midway through training camp, the 11-year veteran became the Lions most consistent cornerback in 2013. Mathis was also a terrific mentor to young players like Darius Slay. He’ll be 34 before next season begins, but he proved he still has some game left in those legs. Maybe a short-term deal wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Lions.

Rocky McIntosh, linebacker: MacIntosh proved to be a nice addition as a backup linebacker and special teams performer. He made plays when given the opportunity on defense and was a part of special teams unit that drastically improved its cover abilities this season.

Don Muhlbach, long snapper: Few do it better than Muhlbach. He’s agreed to one-year deals in the past and another could be in store this offseason for the veteran.

Kevin Ogletree, wide receiver: Ogletree was signed on Oct. 2 to add some depth at receiver and finished with 13 receptions for 199 yards and a touchdown. He’s a No. 3 or No. 4 option at receiver.

Brandon Pettigrew, tight end: Pettigrew is valuable because the Lions don’t have another player like him on the roster. Few teams do. He’s the best all-around tight end they have. After a slow start to the 2013 season, he finished eith another solid season. Pettigrew is a three-down tight end and there’s value in this league for players like that.

Dominic Raiola, center:
Is coming off the best season of his 13-year career. Pro Football Focus rated him the second-best center in the league this past season. His play this past season probably earned him at least another year of service. The Lions will be on the lookout for the future of the position, however.

Micheal Spurlock, wide receiver: Spurlock started the year as the Lions kickoff and punt return man. He lost that job to Jeremy Ross, however, and was eventually released before signing back with the team late last year. It seems a long shot Spurlock will have a role moving forward, but that will be for the new coaching staff to decide.

John Wendling, safety: Wendling remains one of the best special teamers in the league and Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego would love to have him back in 2014.

Willie Young, defensive end: Young got a chance to be the man at the left defensive end spot when Jason Jones went down with an injury. Young finished with 47 tackles, three sacks and defended five passes in 15 starts. Those numbers are decent, but not great.

Restricted free agents (2)

Joique Bell, running back: At the very least expect the Lions to give Bell, 27, a second round tender with a price tag between $2-$3 million. Bell has become a big part of the Lions offense with his unique combination of power and balance. Both sides could try to get a long-term deal done.

Dorin Dickerson, tight end: Dickerson probably won’t get an original-round tender offer from Detroit for over $1 million, but that doesn’t mean the team wouldn’t want him to be a part of training camp and try to earn a role as a receiving tight end.

Exclusive-rights free agents (5)

Kris Durham, receiver: Finished 2013 catching 38 passes for 490 yards with two touchdowns. He’s got good size (6-6, 220) to be a quality No. 3 or No. 4 possession receiver.

Chris Greenwood, cornerback: Greenwood showed some real promise when given an opportunity to play late in the season. The former 2012 fifth-round pick has the size, speed and athletic ability teams covet. He simply needs more experience and expect the Lions to give him some.

Julian Stanford, linebacker: Stanford has experience and brings something to the table on special teams. He’s a depth player worth an invite to training camp.

Jeremy Ross, receiver: Ross proved to be an explosive return man (two return touchdowns in 2013) and he could see an expanded role in the slot, depending on what the team decides to do with Nate Burleson, and how Ryan Broyles recovers from his ACL surgery. He's got great size for the slot, but needs to work on his hands a little more.

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February 5th, 2014, 10:32 am
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
I would put qualifying tenders on all restricted and exclusive rights guys. But, I am only concerned about keeping Bell, Greenwood, and Ross. Everyone else, if they get an offer, let them go and accept the compensation.

As far as unrestricted FA's, Petigrew is the only one I would resign.

Get Suh extended. And then there are 2 FA's I want the Lions to pursue. It would strengthen us while weakening division opponents.

Peanut Tillman and Jarred Allen.

Fill out the rest of the roster with draft picks and UFA's.


February 5th, 2014, 10:51 am
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
I would try and retain Dom and Mathis as well. we havee NO Centers on the roster worth starting, and even if we draft a guy we need a quality backup at C. So unless we get a good FA for cenetr we still desperatly need Dom for another year.

Mathis is growing long in the tooth, but when he played he played pretty darned well last year. If we can get him on the cheap, he'd be well worth the signing, even if it turns out to be a depth move.

Pett I am on the fence baout...he better be cheap. If he is, I'm all about keeping him. if he thinks he's earned a raise on his 1st round rookie contract, he is out of his mind!

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February 5th, 2014, 11:41 am
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
Raiola on a one or two year deal and draft his replacement this year. Ogletree is decent depth and will be cheap. Keep him if we don't draft 2 WRs. Mathis on a one year deal. Fox is decent depth and with health issues we won't be fighting for his services and he'll be cheap. Bring back all the restricted and exclusive rights guys, with most interest in Ross, Bell and Greenwood. Let the market set the price for Young. There are a lot of stud DEs out there so it's likely he'll have to wait a bit to be signed. If he comes at a reasonable price I'd bring him back. Lets move on from Pett.


February 5th, 2014, 2:32 pm
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
Joique, Greenwood, and Ross.

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February 5th, 2014, 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
Keeping if feasible,

UFA's
Hill
Mathis
McIntosh
Muhlbach
Wendling
Young
Raiola

RFA's
Bell

ERFA's
Greenwood
Ross

In regards to Brandon Pettigrew, I've often been critical of his play (drops), but there is value for 3 down TE's. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a fat contract from another team. However, we do need a consistent TE and it will be an important part of our passing game if Indy's 2009 season (with Caldwell) is any kind of barometer. Dallas Clark had over 1100 receiving yards that year.


February 5th, 2014, 3:09 pm
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
BillySims wrote:
I would put qualifying tenders on all restricted and exclusive rights guys. But, I am only concerned about keeping Bell, Greenwood, and Ross. Everyone else, if they get an offer, let them go and accept the compensation.

As far as unrestricted FA's, Petigrew is the only one I would resign.

Get Suh extended. And then there are 2 FA's I want the Lions to pursue. It would strengthen us while weakening division opponents.

Peanut Tillman and Jarred Allen.

Fill out the rest of the roster with draft picks and UFA's.

Pretty sure you'll never see Jared Allen playing for Detroit. It's pretty well documented that he loathes the city.


February 7th, 2014, 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
HechePipe wrote:
BillySims wrote:
I would put qualifying tenders on all restricted and exclusive rights guys. But, I am only concerned about keeping Bell, Greenwood, and Ross. Everyone else, if they get an offer, let them go and accept the compensation.

As far as unrestricted FA's, Petigrew is the only one I would resign.

Get Suh extended. And then there are 2 FA's I want the Lions to pursue. It would strengthen us while weakening division opponents.

Peanut Tillman and Jarred Allen.

Fill out the rest of the roster with draft picks and UFA's.

Pretty sure you'll never see Jared Allen playing for Detroit. It's pretty well documented that he loathes the city.

Except he's said that he'd be open to it.

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2013/09/an_unlikely_pairing_minnesota.html

Bottom line, money talks. If the best financial deal comes from Detroit, he'd play here. That's almost always true. There are plenty of examples of guys who trashed a rival and then went to play for them. Chris Chelios comes to mind. He's a native Chicagoan, and once said he'd never play for Detroit. We all know how that turned out.

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February 8th, 2014, 6:09 am
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
David Akers, kicker: BYE

Andre Fluellen, defensive tackle: Keep him ONLY if they don't draft a DT

Jason Fox, offensive tackle: Keep him ONLY if they don't draft an OT

Dylan Gandy, center/guard: Keep for his versatility, unless they draft a OG/OC

Shaun Hill, quarterback: I would make an effort to keep him, but I suspect Hill wants out.

Israel Idonije, defensive end: CUT

Rashean Mathis, cornerback: One year deal at vet minimum

Rocky McIntosh, linebacker: I'd resign him. I think he was an underrated contributor at times.

Don Muhlbach, long snapper: If he's willing to continue, by all means sign the man.

Kevin Ogletree, wide receiver: BYE

Brandon Pettigrew, tight end: I suspect he will want too much. BYE.

Dominic Raiola, center: Already signed him to a one year deal, which is what I would have done.

Micheal Spurlock, wide receiver: BYE

John Wendling, safety: I'd make an effort to retain Wendling.

Willie Young, defensive end: They need to keep this guy, but not at a ridiculous price.

Restricted free agents (2)

Joique Bell, running back: Second round tender

Dorin Dickerson, tight end: No offer.

Exclusive-rights free agents (5)

Kris Durham, receiver: I'd give him a deal. As much as people bad mouthed him, he was better than expected.

Chris Greenwood, cornerback: I'd bring him back and allow him to develop. The Lions never real gave him a chance, and his injuries didn't help.

Julian Stanford, linebacker: No offer.

Jeremy Ross, receiver: Absolutely sign him to a deal. Nothing extravagant, but he can contribute as a returner AND fifth or sixth receiver. Not a one trick pony.

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February 8th, 2014, 8:42 am
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
Akers, K: He has some power left in his leg but his accuracy has been bad two years in a row. - NO
Fluellen, DT: I think he comes to camp but not someone you throw any guaranteed money back.
Fox, OT: I think he ll get a deal somewhere else above what the Lions should match with Waddle set to start and Hilliard as depth. - NO
Gandy, C/G: I think this depends on the health of Leroy Harris who got guaranteed money last year and has a year left on the deal. If the team also believes at all in Rodney Austin or drafts a guard/center than this is a no. I say no, draft a guy or give Austin his chance.
Hill, QB: Love the guy, he seems underrated by media types but not by the NFL. Lions wont be able to foot the bill he ll get. Lions will have to shop for a lesser known backup or use a midround pick to groom one. NO
Idonije, DE: Had an awful season, made no plays defensively and was so bad he had to be taken off the FG team. NO
Mathis, CB: Lions best CB, how long will it last? who knows? but kick the tires on him until the wheels fall off. YES
McIntosh, LB: Role player in short yardage. If the Lions had a young LB worth developing they wouldnt need Rocky. Invite to camp without guaranteed money.
Muhlbach, LS: Steady and gets down the field. Give him another year.
Ogletree, WR: I dunno, bring him to camp if nobody signs him. He had decent hands but didnt really learn the Lions system mid season. Contract? NO
Pettigrew, TE: He s not a championship caliber starter bc he makes too many negative plays and with his age/production will get more than he deserves. NO
Raiola, C: Done deal. Dom is back
Spurlock, WR: Skills eroded. NO
Wendling, S: Good special teamer, not quite as good on D as you d like but he can step in in a pinch. Dejon Gomes might squeeze him off the roster in camp though. YES

Young, DE: Young was pretty good for a 7th Rd pick but he s no godsend. He had by far his best year and was solid but didnt generate enough plays. He doesnt deserve full blown starter money at DE but if the Lions dont sign him they might be committed to drafting a DE in Rd 1 or 2 rather than waiting to see where the best value falls in the draft. YES

Restricted free agents (2)

Bell, RB: He s everything you want except the fumbles vs Philly. Lock him up before he gets too expensive. He doesnt scare teams the way Bush does but Bell is probably the more efficient and effective back overall. YES

Dickerson, TE: Has some speed but the chinks in the armor appeared pretty quickly also. Bring him to camp, nobody will give him guaranteed money. You d rather take a chance on a cheap player like Dickerson becoming reliable than an expensive one like Pettigrew.

Exclusive-rights free agents (5)

Durham, WR: M2K thinks this guy is better than Roy Williams in his Lions career? Thats a separate thread in its own but its not even close, Durham should be a No 4/5 WR. He had a tremendous opportunity to prove himself as a No 2 but couldnt get it done. None of that means, he cant contribute in a different role because he probably can in doses and in situations that give him the best chance to succeed. He should have to make the team again in camp but as an ERFA there is minimal cost associated with getting that to happen. YES
Greenwood, CB: He looked pretty decent in those last couple of games. Definitely didnt embarass himself like some of the more highly touted guys on the roster. Again at minimal cost he s a lock to be back. YES
Stanford, LB: Not sure I know anything about this guy but why not give him a shot to beat out PED user Lewis. YES
Ross, WR: He s the return man they ve been looking for the past 3 years and you can pick a spot or two for him on offense to utilize his speed and open field ability. YES


February 8th, 2014, 12:17 pm
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
http://overthecap.com/calculator/?Team=Lions


There's a cool salary cap tool to use to figure out what the Lions can do this offseason.


February 19th, 2014, 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
Basically all the Lions need to do is restructure Suh and they're way under the cap. That is precisely what I expect to happen.

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February 20th, 2014, 3:28 am
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
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Kris Durham, receiver: I'd give him a deal. As much as people bad mouthed him, he was better than expected.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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February 20th, 2014, 3:33 am
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
Basically all the Lions need to do is restructure Suh and they're way under the cap. That is precisely what I expect to happen.


I agree with this. I think its by far their #1 priority right now and they know it and will get something done.


However, I do not agree with the re-sign Durham idea. The guy sucks.

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February 20th, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Lions Own FA's - who to keep?
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However, I do not agree with the re-sign Durham idea. The guy sucks.
he has no business playing in the NFL. What is the point of a slow 6'6 WR who's NEVER WON A JUMP BALL.

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February 21st, 2014, 2:03 am
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