The beginning of this week served as a spark towards launching the offseason roster amendments and acquisitions for the Detroit Lions and other NFL teams now that the legal tampering period of free agency is finally upon us. By the end of the week, several NFL teams will formalize previously agreed upon trades and player deals when the official free agency period commences on March 17.
With regards to our re-tooling Lions, general manager Brad Holmes and co. have been amongst the most active of front offices in the league with several roster announcements being declared in the past few days. In the initial roster frenzy earlier this week, the team liquidated some assets to free up cap space by releasing a total of six players, two on the offensive end and four on the defensive side of the ball.
To follow that up, the Lions ended everyone’s speculation by re-signing promising defensive end stud Romeo Okwara to a three-year $39 million deal. However, question marks that were still surrounding the state of star wide receiver Kenny Golladay’s future in Detroit were emboldened by the team’s refusal to franchise tag the wideout. Instead, the new coaching regime in Motown looked to their former teams to secure free agents by inking both wide receiver Tyrell Williams and tight end Josh Hill to one-year deals.
The March Madness didn’t end there. The Lions front office is seemingly determined to bolster the squad through the free agency period despite a receded salary cap and has proven to be progressive and tactical in their approaches to achieving that task.
First, the management took advantage of the new CBA rule and relinquished the services of former Lions linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin on a one-year deal. In another successive impressive move, the team reinforced the strength of their running game by adding the veteran presence of former divisional rival Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams on a two-year agreement.
In the most recent news, it was announced that the Lions parted ways with a future 2023 seventh-round draft pick and in turn underpinned the team’s presence in the trenches by adding veteran lineman Michael Brockers to the defensive unit. If the past 48 hours are a set of precedent, the Lions faithful are in for a rollercoaster ride in this year’s free agency period with the team guaranteed to have a plethora of new faces on the roster to start the new season.
Despite the fact that the majority of the players are coming to Motown City to play on a new slate, there is a common theme of familiarity between most of the newly signed free agents tied within the links of Lions head coach Dan Campbell’s coaching group. It would not be too surprising to see future roster moves with ties to the coaching regime be added at a beneficial rate to the team.
In the latest speculations around the league, the Lions have shown to have preliminary interest in signing former Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal from the Atlanta Falcons who just happen to play in the same NFC South division that Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn have coached in throughout their entire careers. Although it is strictly rumored as of now, it would not be too far-fetched for the Lions to pull the trigger on that move after losing the opportunity of signing former Rams safety John Johnson III.
The 2021 NFL Draft is a mere five weeks away. In the coming days, most teams will fill their deepest and most gaping roster voids via free agency helping paint a clearer picture of their future aspirations schematically.
It is very promising to see the Detroit Lion’s fuelled activity early in the off-season free agency period by being purposeful in adding veteran players to the locker room. The team has very well followed suit on their continuous theme this offseason of out with the old, and in with the new.