Skip to main content

10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: Will Lions be big players in free agency?

During the offseason Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from time to time from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

20man: It's always good to remember that a scout's job is only to evaluate a player and help to formulate a grade for him. It's the GM's job to select the players. Quinn didn't draft one single player in his time in New England.

Also remember that scouts and GM's disagree on players all the time. There were a number of people within the building in Allen Park who weren't big fans of Titus Young when he came out in 2011. Unfortunately, only the opinion of former GM Martin Mayhew mattered. The Lions took Young in the second round and the rest is history.

This is the first time Quinn will be taking the names off the board and making the final decisions in a draft. I wouldn't formulate any opinions on him based off his scout days in New England. Those opinions are forthcoming.

20man: He'll be back as the team's defensive coordinator for the 2016 after failing to secure one of the five head-coaching vacancies he was mentioned/interviewed for.

It's believed that Austin has one more year left on his original contract, but don't quote me on that, the Lions don't release contract information when it comes to their coaching staff.

20man: I think it'll be a combination of both, Matthew.

Upwards of $30 million dollars can get a lot done. First on the list, at least for me, would be taking care of my own.

The first two names on that list would be cornerback Darius Slay and running back Theo Riddick. Both players will be entering the final year of their rookie deal and both are coming off terrific third seasons on either side of the ball.

Punter Sam Martin, guard Larry Warford and defensive end Devin Taylor could also be extension candidates. Ziggy Ansah is under team control for another two seasons, so he's not as big of a priority, though getting a long-term deal done with him would be just fine by about everyone involved.

Some unrestricted free-agent players the team potentially looks to re-sign could be safety Isa Abdul-Quddus, linebacker Tahir Whitehead and defensive tackles Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker.

Offensive tackle, defensive tackle and potentially receiver, depending on Calvin Johnson's decision, could be positions of need this offseason.

Cordy Glenn (Buffalo), Russell Okung (Seattle), Andre Smith (Cincinnati), Ryan Schraeder (Atlanta), Donald Penn (Oakland) and Kelvin Beachum (Pittsburgh) are tackles that could potentially hit free agency.

Alshon Jeffery (Bears), Travis Benjamin (Browns) and Marvin Jones (Bengals) lead the group of potential free-agent receivers.

Muhammad Wilkerson (Jets), Malik Jackson (Broncos) and Ian Williams (49ers) are just a few of the potential free agents at defensive tackle.

There will also be cap casualties and other names that emerge here. The point is, it'll be an interesting free agent period this year because the Lions are expected to be players.

@ttwentyman when can we expect @calvinjohnsonjr to beak his silence? — O. R. Clow (@OllieSnr) January 20, 2016

20man: Quinn certainly isn't rushing him. He wants Megatron to take his time and make sure it's the right decision and not just one made after a disappointing season while his body still hurts.

Expect a decision to be made before the negotiating period of free agency begins March 7.

20man: That's a decision Quinn will have to make.

Even if Johnson comes back for one more season, it's time to start thinking about life after Megatron.

I believe there are too many holes on both lines to look at receiver at the No. 16 spot. Maybe in the second or third round, if the grade fits or someone falls. 

This doesn't appear to be stellar receiving class as in year's past, by most accounts. 

Alshon Jeffery (Bears), Travis Benjamin (Browns) and Marvin Jones (Bengals) lead the group of potential free-agent receivers.

Expect the position to be addressed one way or the other this offseason.

20man: I don't see it.

He's either back and the Lions are happy he's back at $24 million vs. cap, or he retires and the team saves $11 million.

@ttwentyman do you think the lions draft a qb this year? If so, who and in what round? — AuxCordDJs (@Fake_Important) January 20, 2016

20man: I certainly wouldn't be shocked if they did. It's about time they invest in a young backup they can groom, someone who could potentially become an asset for them. Jim Caldwell and Jim Bob Cooter have reputations for making quarterbacks better.

As for who and what round, can I go down to the Senior Bowl first? Maybe check out the NFL Scouting Combine in February? There's a lot of evaluating to be done before we start slotting players into rounds.

That being said, anywhere past Round 3 probably makes sense if the grade does.

20man: That could be a possibility. 

I really like Bell and what he brings to the table. He's a tough runner with really good hands out of the backfield.

But the reality is that he could be the fourth back on the depth chart behind Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner or whomever else they might want to add to the group.

Bell will turn 30 before the start of next season and is entering the final year of the three-year, $9.3 million deal he signed before the 2014 season. He is scheduled to make $2.5 million next season, which the team would save by releasing him.

20man: Well, he's no longer with the team, so yes, it does seem like a wasted pick. He signed a futures deal with the Panthers a couple weeks ago.

Some projects take longer to develop than others. Some projects don't ever become what a team thought they would. I have a pretty solid rule that I give a player three years. If he doesn't shown signs of being a player by year three then he probably never will.

Gabe Wright, the Lions' fourth-round pick last year, is under that microscope. He couldn't get on the field this past season despite the fact the Lions suffered injuries and inconsistent play at the defensive tackle position. He was active for just seven games this past season. The Lions need to see a lot of improvement out of him this offseason.

20man: The highest graded offensive tackle or defensive tackle left on their board. Perfect mesh of need and best available.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content