Detroit Lions Linked to Former Defensive Player of The Year to Bolster Weakness

Yardbarker

The Detroit Lions arrived in the NFC Championship Game last season, potentially ahead of schedule, but a loss to the San Francisco 49ers exposed a glaring weakness in the secondary.

While the Lions boast an elite pass-rusher in Aidan Hutchinson, the back-end of Detroit’s defense could use an upgrade, be it during the third wave of NFL free agency, during the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, or both.

One potential fit to upgrade the Detroit Lions’ defensive backfield is 2019 NFL Defensive Player of The Year and two-time First-Team All-Pro, cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Detroit Lions Urged to Sign Stephon Gilmore

As free agency rounds into its second wave, the secondary market seems to have plateaued a bit, which could allow the Lions to scoop up an elite playmaker like Gilmore at a potential bargain.

Bleacher Report lists the Lions as an ideal destination for Gilmore in free agency.

“Gilmore makes a ton of sense for the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions in particular,” Brad Gagnon writes for B/R. “Both have the cap room, the need and the win-now window. But the Lions are a little shorter on experience in the secondary, so we’ll roll with Gilmore to the Motor City.”

Last season, Gilmore posted a career-high 68 total tackles with a pair of interceptions, starring opposite DaRon Bland who set the record for most interceptions returned for a touchdown in a single season, rounding out an elite duo of cornerbacks.

Pro Football Focus points out that Gilmore held opposing quarterbacks to a paltry 83.3 passer rating when throwing his direction.

Can Lions Afford to Sign Gilmore?

The Lions are as well positioned, from a cap standpoint, of any team across the league to make a splash signing such as Gilmore.

Even after making some significant additions in free agency, the Lions still have upwards of $25.2 million in spending flexibility.

Signing Gilmore could complete a veteran overhaul of the cornerback room that began with the Lions signing Carlton Davis earlier this offseason, and provide a worthy counterpunch for the elite receiving corps in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and now the Chicago Bears that could stand in the Lions’ way of a Super Bowl.

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