NFL Offseason Outlook: New Look Lions Hoping To Get Off To Fast Free Agent Start In 2021

A new coach, a new general manager, seems like every couple years we go through this with the Lions, and in 2021 it will once again be a new look for a team that is looking to surprise teams next season and make their voices heard.

The Lions finished 5-11 in 2020, and it cost them their coach Matt Patricia and general manager GM Bob Quinn in late November.

Now Dan Campbell is the Lions’ new head coach and Brad Holmes is the GM, and ownership is hoping beyond hope this pair can make this team a winner – finally.

If Campbell’s first presser is any indication of how this team is going to be – it’s going to have a LOT of attitude – even if they are not winners on the field right away.

As for the first round of free agency, the Lions have specific needs,

including defensive tackles, wide outs and linebackers.

The team will enter free agency with roughly $9 mil in cap space and need to use it all to upgrade this roster.

The club already made one massive offensive move, sending QB Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for QB Jared Goff, who brings Super Bowl experience the team hopes will pay off.

The Lions will enter free agency shortly with 18 free agents, a number of the players key to the success on the roster in 2020.

As we break down the team, here are the players set to hit free agency come mid-March.

RB Adrian Peterson
WR Marvin Jones
WR Danny Amendola
WR Mohamed Sanu
WR Kenny Golladay
LG Oday Aboushi
EDGE Everson Griffen
LB Reggie Ragland
LB Jarrad Davis
LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin
CB Mike Ford*
CB Darryl Roberts
CB Tony McRae
CB Jamal Agnew
S Duron Harmon
S Miles Killebrew
LS Don Muhlbach
K Matt Prater

Offseason Outlook: Giving the franchise tag to WR Kenny Golladay would make a lot of sense if he and the Lions cannot agree on a long-term deal, which is going to be tough. Golladay is a solid player who two years ago had close to 1200 receiving yards. This last season, he played in only five games due to injury, which puts an interesting spin on his value entering free agency.

Giving Goff a player he can count on and throw to from the day he walks into his first camp would be a big asset to the organization, and Golladay is a player the team needs as a playmaker.

If the team parts ways with Golladay, Marvin Jones is an option to bring back, but he also is a free agent who is going to look for a solid deal. Edge rusher Romeo Okwara was in the top 10 in sacks last season on a team that was 25th in blitz percentage, and it’ll be tough for the team to bring him back as he’ll get a lot of looks on the open market.

Fellow edge rusher Everson Griffen is also going to get plenty of looks, but the Lions will likely make him an offer.

Detroit hasn’t used the franchise tag since 2018 when they used it on defensive end Ziggy Ansah, but as with Golladay and those other players mentioned, this might be the year the tag gets used.

Campbell and Holmes are going to have their work cut out for them. They start with a clean deck, more so on offense with Goff as the starting quarterback, but it should be a slate that includes a couple playmakers who can be impactful.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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