Detroit Lions free agency 2021: Top 5 targets


FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 29: De’Vondre Campbell #59 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after sacking Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots during the first quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Once again, there’s a new regime looking to fix things in the Motor City.

Simply put, the Matt Patricia Era in the Motor City was nothing short of disastrous. The Detroit Lions parted ways with Jim Caldwell following a 9-7 season that failed to produce a playoff appearance. During his four-year stay with the franchise, the well-respected coach produced a 36-28 regular-season mark and reached the playoffs twice but failed each time.

Enter Patricia, formerly the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots. He would not last through three seasons and when it was all said and done, the team managed a 13-29-1 record under his command. General manager Bob Quinn was also relieved of his duties two days after Thanksgiving. The new GM is Brad Holmes and the franchise’s newest sideline leader is one-time Dolphins’ interim head coach Dan Campbell.

There’s plenty of work to do in terms of managing the salary cap (via Spotrac), fixing the league’s worst defense and retaining some of the team’s better players.

5. OLB De’Vondre Campbell (Arizona Cardinals)

The Lions surrendered 519 points this past season – the second-highest single-season total in NFL history and just 14 points fewer than the dubious record-holders in the 1981 then-Baltimore Colts (533). Detroit allowed a league-worst 419.8 yards per game and a disturbing 65 offensive touchdowns – the most via the ground (27) and through the air (38) in 2020.

One-time Atlanta Falcons De’Vondre Campbell enjoyed a solid year in Arizona this past year. He finished third on the club with 99 tackles, to go along with two sacks and three passes defensed. He could be part of a huge overhaul as Aaron Glenn takes over as defensive coordinator.

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