The NFL free agency period officially opened at 4pm eastern time yesterday. The Lions got off to a quick start with the following signings:
DT Akeem Spence – a former New England defensive tackle who played last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has shown flashes of rush ability from the defensive tackle position. On a short term deal, he is a good rotational piece.
DE Cornelius Washington – a former Chicago Bears defensive end who has very good athletic ability for his size, but needs to stay healthy in order to be productive for the Lions. He was signed to a short term deal as well and will be a rotational piece.
RT Ricky Wagner and LB Paul Worrilow (previously mentioned)
They also watched both Riley Reiff and Larry Warford leave in free agency as well. In addition to those moves, they tendered Cornelius Lucas, Brandon Copeland, Kerry Hyder, and TJ Jones. They re-signed Khiry Thornton to a 2 year deal.
And lastly, the released outside linebacker DeAndre Levy.
The Detroit Lions have also had a meeting with former Packers Pro-Bowl guard TJ Lang. While Lang did not sign a contract, the Lions are not necessarily out of the running for him. He announced that he wants to take all of his visits and then make a decision. I have to image with Lang, unless he gets an offer for ridiculous money, it will be between Green Bay and Detroit. He’s played in Green Bay for his entire career which is the draw there, and Detroit is where he lives in the offseason which is the draw there. Both teams are considered playoff teams as well.
While writing this, the Detroit Lions signed corner DJ Hayden to a 1 year deal. Hayden has injury concerns, but can be a good player if he stays healthy.
While the Lions still have a long way to go, the early moves seem to indicate that the Lions will go linebacker early, and Defensive end and corner after that. Tight end could be a mid round pick, although a signing is still expected at some point in free agency as well.
Free agency is just getting started so expect more moves coming soon. Potential positions of target are linebacker, guard, tight end, and wide receiver based on the free agents expected to visit in the coming days.