The Detroit Lions are one of the only teams in the NFL that can confidently say it was a successful NFL season despite not making the playoffs. That is because they posted a winning record for the first time since 2017 and have created a new culture of toughness under head coach Dan Campbell.
The end of a lengthy rebuild seems to be in reach for Detroit, but only if the right moves are made in the upcoming offseason. The front office certainly has the cap space to make some noise. With that being said, here's a look at three free agents the Lions need to sign to make the playoffs next season.
Detroit Lions Free Agency
1. Jamaal Williams, RB
This one is a no-brainer. Running back Jamaal Williams singlehandedly carried Detroit's offense at times this season as D'Andre Swift battled multiple injuries. He ultimately finished the year with over 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career and set the franchise record for rushing touchdowns in one season (17). Not only that, but Williams developed into a favorite of both the fans and the players in the locker room for his infectious personality. Spotrac lists the veteran's expected market value at $4.1 million. Paying around $5 million in annual salary on a two-year deal would be a small price to pay to keep a talented offensive weapon around.
2. James Bradberry, CB
It's not hard to understand why the Lions need to do everything they can to overhaul their secondary this offseason. Detroit posted the 10th-worst pass defense DVOA rating in the league and allowed 245.8 passing yards per game (No. 30 in NFL). Jeff Okudah has locked down one of the starting cornerback spots, but the other one remains wide open. Prying James Bradberry away from Philadelphia would be a bold and compelling move by Detroit. Bradberry tallied 44 tackles (2.0 for loss), 17 pass breakups and 3 interceptions while appearing in almost every single defensive snap for the Eagles this past season. The 29-year-old has tapped back into what made him a Pro Bowler in 2020 and would be a great addition to Detroit's defense.
3. Allen Lazard, WR
Wide receiver isn't the biggest need for the Detroit Lions, but the NFL remains a pass-heavy league. Surrounding quarterback Jared Goff with as many weapons as possible would be a smart move. Detroit is set to lose DJ Chark to free agency, leaving Amon-Ra St. Brown with only Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds around him and the inexperienced Jameson Williams. Allen Lazard has more versatility than most other free agent WRs as he can line up in the slot, on the outside or even at tight end. The fifth-year pro logged 788 yards on 60 receptions in 2022 and racked up at least 6 touchdowns for the second straight year. Stealing him away from a division rival would be exciting, too.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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