- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Every day we’ll take a look at one of the Detroit Lions heading for free agency, what he has meant to the team before and a prognosis on whether or not he’ll be back with the club in 2014.
To see the entire series to date, click this link.
Free agent to be: Rocky McIntosh
Years in the league: 8
What he made last season: $555,000 (cap value); $840,000 (cash value and base salary).
What he did last season: McIntosh had the least productive season of his career, but that also came because he saw far fewer snaps than any other time in the past five seasons. McIntosh had only 38 defensive snaps as the team’s fourth linebacker. He had six defensive tackles, but had a knack for making plays in goal-line or fourth-down situations. He was also a key special-teams piece, making nine special-teams tackles. Of those nine tackles, seven came in two games -- Week 3 against his former team, Washington, and Week 4 against Chicago.
His potential market value: Someone will end up signing him. McIntosh said during the season he hopes to continue playing and although he barely played for the Lions, there is likely another team out there that will give him a shot to at least get into camp and try to earn a spot on their roster. At the very least, he could be a good special-teams player for one of the NFL’s other 31 teams.
Will he fit the Lions still: No. General manager Martin Mayhew said Friday the team informed Rocky McIntosh he would not be returning to the team in 2014. Now sometimes situations change and there is always the possibility if McIntosh is out there and the team has needs later on, they'd revisit it. But right now, McIntosh’s time with Detroit has come to an end after one season with the club.
What happens: McIntosh plays somewhere in 2014, although it might be in a very limited role. He is still a smart, instinctual player who can be a good mentor on a team with a lot of young, talented linebackers. The value of McIntosh to teams would likely be more in a mentoring role than anything else, as both his snaps and production have decreased ever since 2010, when he played a career-high 888 snaps and made a career-high 110 tackles. But barring the unforeseen to many, including Mayhew, McIntosh won’t be with the Lions.