Detroit Lions' 'heavy lifting' in free agency appears to be over

Posted Mar 18, 2013

After signing three new players and re-signing two of their own, the Detroit Lions' "big" moves in free agency are likely over

Martin Mayhew

PHOENIX -- Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is famous for saying there is never a finish line in terms of improving the roster, but the heavy lifting in free agency appears to be over.

The Lions made five big moves with the signings of running back Reggie Bush, safety Glover Quin, defensive end Jason Jones and cornerback Chris Houston during the first 24 hours of free agency and then re-signing safety Louis Delmas a day later.

The total amount of those contracts is reported to be around $83.5 million, but only $8 million or so counts toward the 2013 salary cap.

"Yeah, I think in terms of those big contracts, I think they're starting to wind down from a free agency standpoint," Mayhew told beat reporters at NFL League Meetings.

"Obviously we've got the draft coming up and we've got some of our own guys who we're trying to sign."

Among those is kicker Jason Hanson. Mayhew said he's currently working on a contract for the long-term kicker.

Reserve defensive end Lawrence Jackson could be another of those potential re-signings.

"After the draft we have a period of time to continue to try to add to our roster and look for guys whether it's signing free agents or street free agents or trades, whatever the possibilities are," Mayhew said.

Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand were crafty in the way they structured those recently-signed free agent deals in terms of backloading the cap hits to fit under the 2013 league year. The Lions don't appear to have a whole lot of cap space left, but Mayhew said the team still has some flexibility if needed.