Lions’ Dan Campbell highlights team’s obvious, and not so obvious needs

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
| The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions need to do some serious work at wide receiver this offseason. For anyone who has been paying attention the past year, that’s an obvious statement. 

Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola, the team’s top three wide receivers the past two seasons, are all scheduled to be free agents. On top of that, so is Jamal Agnew, and the team dumped deep threat Marvin Hall before the end of last season. 

The only players of consequence still under contract are Quintez Cephus, who caught 20 passes as a rookie last season, and Geronimo Allison, a free-agent addition from Green Bay a year ago before he opted out of the 2020 season

So, yeah, it was no surprise coach Dan Campbell noted receiver as a top offseason priority. But the other position he mentioned off the top of his head, cornerback, was a little more surprising. 

To be fair, Campbell did note the Lions need depth at the spot. That much is true, with just four corners under contract. But those four are all starting-caliber players. The group includes last year’s first-round draft pick, Jeff Okudah, as well as high-end free agent additions Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman from recent years, and the quickly developing Amani Oruwariye. 

But there’s some additional intrigue with that collection of players since both Trufant and Coleman carry excessive cap hits for the upcoming season and could offer a combined $11 million in savings if they were to be released.

“Look, we’ve been talking, (general manager) Brad (Holmes) and I have talked about all that and I would say there’s going to be some things that go down this week one way or another,” Campbell said when asked for his evaluation of Trufant and Coleman. “When all that happens, you’ll know, but I don’t want to get too deep into all that.

“I know both of those players,” Campbell said. “Trufant, he was in the division for years at New Orleans, so I know him well. I just know overall, we need competition in that area. We need depth in areas. …Just because, for example, we’ve got two young cornerbacks, man, you still want competition. You want guys that they’re having to compete, that are able to push them, or they’re pushing for that starting position. I mean, it’s just healthy. It makes you better.”

If the Lions release Trufant, Coleman or both, the Lions could be looking for as many as four new cornerbacks in free agency and the draft. Given some of the durability issues inherent to the position, and the need to counter the league’s pass-happy offensive attacks, teams typically carry six cornerbacks on the roster during the regular season.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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