Thursday, March 13, 2014
Setting up Lions free agency: Day 3
By Michael Rothstein
Another day, another plethora of moves by teams as the 2014 free-agency season slowly starts to shake itself out.
As safeties were some of the big hauls during the first day of free agency, Wednesday appeared to be the day of the receiver -- including for the Detroit Lions.
The Lions made their first big play of free agency, grabbing Golden Tate for the next five seasons at $31 million, perhaps the biggest move the team will make throughout the free- agent period.
There are other holes Detroit needs to work on and the Lions are likely not done signing free agents, so here’s a quick primer for what might happen on the third day of free agency.
Here are the offensive and defensive primers for the beginning of free agency and the setup for Day 2.
What’s changed: Little. The quarterback market is still slow for what the Lions are looking for, but one potential candidate, Curtis Painter, is no longer available as he re-upped with the Giants.
Who is out there: Shaun Hill; Luke McCown.
Chances something happens Thursday: Still not likely. Detroit needs a backup quarterback but unless it is Hill, it isn’t going to happen immediately.
What’s changed: The Lions appear to be focused on a fullback. Henry Hynoski is on the schedule to visit Detroit today, the first fullback to visit the team. Joique Bell also officially rejoined the team Wednesday.
Who is out there: Hynoski, Vonta Leach, Jed Collins.
Chances something happens Thursday: If the team likes what it sees in Hynoski and he clears the medical tests from a fractured shoulder, it could be a move Detroit makes.
What’s changed: Everything. The Lions have signed Golden Tate, likely the biggest free-agent move the team will make this season. In addition, Jacoby Jones re-signed with Baltimore. The market has now changed for the Lions.
Who is out there: Emmanuel Sanders; Lance Moore.
Chances something happens Thursday: Would be shocking if it happened considering the big dollars Detroit paid for Tate on Wednesday.
What’s changed: Not much, other than the Lions grabbing a pass-catcher in Tate.
Who is out there: Brandon Pettigrew; Owen Daniels; Dustin Keller.
Chances something happens Thursday: There hasn’t been much of a market set for tight ends yet, so unlikely. This could be a position settled next week.
What’s changed: Phil Costa visited Wednesday and left Wednesday without a reported deal.
Who is out there: Costa.
Chances something happens Thursday: If the team was going to sign Costa, it was likely happening Wednesday. Could it still? Sure, but seems unlikely.
What’s changed: Chris Clemons -- the linebacker/defensive end, not the safety -- was released by Seattle and was reportedly heading to Jacksonville. If this happens, this could change the market for Willie Young, who was reported to be visiting Jacksonville at some point this week.
Who is out there: Young. Otherwise, not much right now.
Chances something happens Thursday: Not likely. Young will likely still test the market and should find a suitor or two at some point.
What’s changed: Status quo, which means not much.
Who is out there: LaMarr Woodley visited Oakland on Wednesday but nothing has been reported yet about how that went.
Chances something happens Thursday: Still not a massive need at the outset.
What’s changed: Corey Graham is no longer available as he headed to Buffalo. And not that the Lions had a shot, but that Darrelle Revis guy is a New England Patriot.
Who is out there: Rashean Mathis is still out there. With Denver signing Aqib Talib, it would seem like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie wouldn’t be returning to the Broncos. He played for Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin in Arizona. Charles Tillman is out there, too. After the Tate signing, though, Rodgers-Cromartie and Tillman might be out of Detroit’s price range.
Chances something happens Thursday: Not likely.
What’s changed: Not much, although the signing of Tate might take some money away. As mentioned on Wednesday, colleague Adam Schefter mentioned Detroit’s interest in Chris Clemons and he is still available.
Who is out there: Clemons would seem to be the top option. James Ihedigbo has familiarity with Austin from Baltimore and is scheduled to visit the Lions today. Steve Gregory is intriguing, but that might only be to me.
Chances something happens Thursday: It could. This still seems to be a priority position for the Lions.