Just Say No 2.0: 4 more free agents for the Lions to avoid


It’s time to Just Say No again. Last week started the series with our 1.0 article, this week we’re back with four more free agents the Lions need to stay away from when free agency opens up soon. 

If you’re not familiar with the series, here’s how it works. We look around social media and find players that some fans think the Lions should sign and then we tell you why they shouldn’t sign them. Every week we pick one player that we wouldn’t complain about if the Lions signed anyways. Let’s jump into it with a popular one. 

The Miami Dolphins released the former All-Pro Cornerback last week after he played eight years with them. Lions fans rushed to social media to proclaim that the Lions should sign him. Obviously this is a team that needs corner help and Howard was, at one time, one of the very best corners in the NFL. That has not been the case for a while though. 

Howard, who turns 31 in July, has been struggling in the last two years. Howard had an amazing 2020 season where he had 10 interceptions and a PFF grade of 87.3. In the last two years he has two interceptions combined and PFF grades in the mid 50’s in both years. He’s also allowed career highs in receptions and receiving yards. 

If the Lions were to sign Howard to be a veteran depth guy and not a starter, then I won’t complain about it. But he’s not going to come cheap.  

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The former second round pick had a pretty solid run with the Bears. He even made a Pro Bowl in 2018. With Jonah Jackson potentially leaving the Lions this offseason, the idea bringing in Whitehair on a short term deal came up. 

That should not be something the Lions do. Whitehair has had a rough last couple of years. He suffered a knee injury in 2022 and had to be sent to injure reserve. In 2023 he got benched Week 10 and only started one more game the rest of the year. The Bears released him shortly after the season.

The Lions could find a veteran guard off the bench, but Whitehair should not be the guy. 

Ogbah started things off hot in Miami. He had back to back nine sack seasons in 2020 and 2021. It’s been a nightmare for the Nigerian Nightmare since then though. Ogbah suffered a tricep injury in 2022 and that ended season early. In 2023 he came back and played 15 games, but the Dolphins only had him start one of them. Ultimately they decided to release him last week. 

The Lions need pass rushers for sure, but they should be looking to go younger in free agency instead signing a 31-year old that’s struggled lately. 

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets pretty much gave up on Carl Lawson last year. He was a healthy scratch a lot in 2023. He only played six games all year despite being availble the entire season. Lawson was supposed to be a trade candidate during the deadline, but no teams seemed to call the Jets to make a move for him. 

Part of the problem could be that Lawson suffered a torn Achilles in 2022 and the Jets just never seemed feel good about that. The Lions just don’t need to be the team that signs a player who might have struggles getting over an injury. Especially after what happened with Emmanuel Moseley in 2023.

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