Free agent speculation running rampant - what rumors are out there?

Posted Mar 12, 2013

The free agency horn will sound at 4 p.m. lead writer Tim Twentyman takes a look at what speculation is out there surrounding the Lions.

Detroit Lions' brass has been saying for months they'll be players in free agency. They've never specified what exactly that means, however. Is it being first-day players or buyers in the second-tier market?

"We were non-players in free agency last year," general manager Martin Mayhew said. "I do think that we plan to make some moves."

Those moves will certainly be welcomed following a disappointing 4-12 season.

"We need to make some changes," Mayhew said. "Obviously, things aren't going in the right direction. We've got to make some changes and have to improve our roster, and we'll definitely make some moves in that direction."

The Lions had around $6 million in cap space, but team president Tom Lewand has said on a number of ocasions that number is always fluid and the team could execute their free-agent plan.

It would make sense that some simple (and potentially complicated) restructures or extensions could help free up more space, as would outright releases.

There isn't concrete news out there confirming the Lions are in play for any free agents come 4 p.m. ET, but there is certainly a fair share of rumors.

It should be noted that the hours leading up to free agency are prime deception time from agents trying to drum up interest – real or not – for their respective clients. Let's always remember that.

  • Dashon GoldsonAccording to a late Monday report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Lions are among four teams (49ers, Lions, Eagles and Buccaneers) in play for safety Dashon Goldson.
  • Goldson is expected to command somewhere around $8 million per year as one of the top safeties on the market, but those markets don't set themselves until the first domino falls.
  • It's a move that certainly makes sense for the Lions. They're looking for safety help with starters Louis Delmas and Amari Spievey plagued by injuries the last two seasons and set to hit free agency.
  • Goldson has intercepted nine passes over the last two years (14 over the last four) and has been to the last two Pro Bowls.
  • insider Daniel Jeremiah reported that there could be interest in Texans safety Glover Quin.
  • "Hearing a lot of buzz about the Lions and safety Glover Quin. Tomorrow could be an active day for Martin Mayhew," Jeremiah tweeted.
  • Quin is the cover safety the Lions have been on the lookout for and is likely to come at a slightly smaller asking price than Goldson. He played cornerback during his first two NFL seasons before switching to safety.
  • He's started in 44-of-47 career games, has 314 tackles (250 solo) and five interceptions.
  • When it comes to the second-tier free-agent market, the Lions have been linked to two defensive ends: William Hayes and Jason Jones.
  • Defensive end position could be a serious need for the Lions with the potential to lose their top three edge rushers from last season (Kyle Vanden Bosch already released and Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson set to become free agents).
  • Hayes was a fourth-round draft pick by the Tennessee Titans in 2008, Schwartz's final season as a defensive coordinator. He was the third defensive end off the bench for Jeff Fisher and the Rams last season and recorded 34 tackles and seven sacks.
  • Jones is a local product (Southfield Lathrup) and was a second-round draft pick in 2008 for the Titans, again, Schwartz's final year in Tennessee.
  • The former Seahawk hasn't played in a full season in five years because of injuries, but in his 16-career game, has 18.5 sacks in only 31 starts. He's also forced seven fumbles.
  • Then there's free-agent running back Reggie Bush. The Lions are looking for speed and a receiving element out of their backfield and Bush fits that role.
  • He would split carries and be a change-of-pace player, so the Lions should be looking to obtain his services for the right price - somewhere in the $3 million range, ideally.

Free agents can officially begin signing with teams at 4 p.m. today. Buckle your seat belts.