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Lions Mailbag: Should Detroit pursue Adrian Peterson?

3/27/2015

Welcome to the second day of the first week of the dual mailbags, now coming at you with Detroit Lions information from your questions Saturdays and Sundays.

On Saturday, we hit on a bunch of questions about the offensive line. Now, in the Sunday edition, we'll hit on a bunch of everything else going on with the Lions -- including a lot of personnel queries as free agency slows down dramatically.

As always, to ask a question for the Mailbag, use the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, email me at michael.rothstein@espn.com or pop on over to my Facebook page (and give a follow, too).

Now, on to your potpourri of questions.


@mikerothstein: It's one of the more interesting questions surrounding the Lions over the past 12 months. Ryan Broyles showed a lot during the preseason in 2014 and then essentially disappeared during the regular season. The Lions coaches said that was because he was the direct backup to Golden Tate, but Tate is so versatile that answer never completely made sense. To the things you pointed out, though, I'll say this. Broyles has rarely been healthy since being drafted by the Lions and now, entering his fourth year, he'll have his first healthy offseason. There are still questions about his explosion and how much his legs have after two ACL injuries and an Achillies injury, but he's going to get a chance to prove himself during the spring. It'll be a massive opportunity for him for his immediate future with the franchise. There is a definite opening for the No. 3 receiver, though, and a healthy, semi-explosive Broyles would have a shot.


@mikerothstein: Big jumps from Eric Ebron and Corey Fuller should not preclude the Lions from drafting a wide receiver if they see one who fits. Ebron is a tight end and Fuller is an outside receiver, so the Lions need someone to man the slot effectively. That could be Tate, but Fuller really feels like a backup to Calvin Johnson at this point. The Lions need, need, need a returner and it would be ideal for Detroit if that returner also plays receiver, running back or cornerback. Jeremy Ross is still a competitor for the slot, but the logical thing would be to draft a receiver (Ty Montgomery from Stanford, perhaps) who has return abilities. Or a running back who does. I'd imagine one of the six picks the Lions have will go to receiver, though.


@mikerothstein: My two rules of thumbs when it comes to acquiring running backs are these: Don't sign a running back at age 30 or older and if you choose to, don't overpay for a running back 30 or older. As talented as Adrian Peterson is, I just don't see it happening with the Lions for many reasons. That starts with those two rules and continues to these things: The Lions have placed an emphasis on character and there would have to be a lot of research done there after Peterson's issues. Detroit has a back in Joique Bell it invested in and it would not make sense to abandon that for Peterson despite the potential talent upgrade. The Lions also don't have a lot of draft picks to play with, so trading any mid-round pick, even for a talent like Peterson, doesn't make sense. There's also this one final point, that it would be highly unlikely Minnesota would trade Peterson to a division rival. All that is a long answer for no.



Randy from Facebook asks: LionsMailbag -- With Detroit losing such a staple in their defense in Suh because they were limited in their options, does Detroit try to extend Levy's contract. He's such a great player and would hate to lose him too.



Rothstein: The departure of Ndamukong Suh and the abundance of defensive contracts up prior to the 2016 season opens up a large hole for the franchise to try and extend DeAndre Levy's contract. He's a cornerstone of the Lions defense and with Suh gone, he might be the player to build around over the next few years. While the Lions haven't come out and said they plan on extending Levy, he would seem to be a high priority now that the Suh madness has ended. He'd be one of the biggest priorities over the next year.



Bob from Facebook asks: Is Michael Sam worth looking at? Cheap price and could be a diamond in the rough.



Rothstein: This question came up from multiple people over the past week after the veteran combine. Truthfully, no. While Michael Sam might be a fit from a schematic standpoint with the Lions -- and even that is questionable -- the position he plays is the deepest on the Lions entering spring workouts. Detroit re-signed Darryl Tapp and signed Phillip Hunt. The team also tendered George Johnson and have Ezekiel Ansah, Jason Jones and Devin Taylor under contract. There just doesn't seem to be room there for the Lions to even think about making the move and it would not be the best situation for Sam in terms of actually making a 53-man roster.