Lions 2021 Free Agency Targets

In order to get a good look at the potential free agents out there, we need to briefly step back, and look at a whole at why you want free agents to come in the first place:


1) They fill a hole on your roster

2) They represent an upgrade on the players currently on your roster

3) They represent value for money


I'll focus on the former primarily although I'll consider the latter two briefly.


In our recent podcast of Feb 23, we discussed the likely players to be departing the Detroit Lions from the 2020 roster. I consider these to be:


QB Matthew Stafford (traded for Jared Goff and picks)

QB Chase Daniel

WR Marvin Jones

WR Danny Amendola

TE Jesse James

OL Oday Aboushi

OL Joe Dahl

DT Nicholas Williams

NT Danny Shelton

DE Everson Griffen

LB Reggie Ragland

LB Christian Jones

CB Tony McRae

CB Justin Coleman

CB Desmond Trufant

S Duron Harmon

S Miles Killebrew


Of course, some of the players above may not leave but I consider it more likely than not. Others not listed above may also leave, Kenny Golladay for example is out of contract but as of this moment, is expected to be franchise tagged. Daryl Roberts, Don Muhlbach and Matt Prater are out of contract, I expect them to be re-signed but that may not happen.


Replacing like-for-like, there are the following holes in the roster, to be filled via free agency and draft:


1 QB

2 WR

1 TE

2 OL

2 DT/NT

1 DE

2 LB

3 CB

2 S


Total = 16 players.


Detroit have 6 picks in this upcoming draft, which leaves 10 replacements required.


Obviously who we take in the draft is a subject for hot debate, but I will look at filling all the holes above, just to cover all bases.


Quarterbacks

With Jared Goff, Detroit likely has it's starting QB for 2021. They could take a starting QB in the draft at 7 in Fields or Wilson, a redshirt prospect like Lance, or a project in later rounds like Jamie Newman. Assuming none of these things happen, Detroit needs a QB2/3 who is going to provide a veteran presence in the room, who will assist Goff in preparing for playing their opponents, at a bargain price. Here's the candidates:


(all estimated salaries per PFF, annualised)


Joe Flacco - 36 years old, $2m

Mike Glennon - 31 years old, $1.5m


The remaining top free agents are either too young/inexperienced (CJ Beathard) or are too expensive to be a backup when cap space is at a premium (Trubisky, Newton etc).


My pick - Mike Glennon. He's slightly cheaper and had a much better 2020 with a young team.


Wide Receivers

With Kenny Golladay either tagged or re-signed, and Quintez Cephus as a WR3/4, Detroit requires two wide receivers, at least to fill out that room. One I think will come through this deep draft (at least). So, at least one needs to come from free agency. This will either be a burner to compliment KG on the outside, or a slot receiver to replace Danny Amendola. Again, these need to be value for money given KG's salary. Here's the candidates:


Antonio Brown - 32 years old $2m

Curtis Samuel - 24 years old $8.5m

Nelson Agholor - 27 years old $7.5m

Keelan Cole - 27 years old $5.5m

Rashard Higgins - 26 years old $5m

David Moore - 26 years old $3.75m

Josh Reynolds - 26 years old $4.25m

Kenny Stills - 28 years old $2.5m


My pick - Rashard Higgins and Josh