Tim Twentyman takes a look at 15 free agents that could potentially interest the Lions.
The permitted window for NFL teams to contact and enter into contract negotiations with player agents is upon us, though no contract can be officially signed until the opening of free agency at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn is expected to be active in free agency, but at what level is yet to be determined.
“You look at the free agency list right now and there’s a bunch of guys that you like, right?” Quinn said when asked at the Combine about some of the defensive players in particular set to become free agents. “But a lot of these guys are going to re-sign with their own teams before they even get to the open market.
“So, you’ve got to be able to adjust. You’ve got to be able to take the players that you have on your team and try to fit them into spots where Matt (Patricia) and the defensive coaches want to use them, and then you kind of just fill in as you go through free agency and the draft.”
Here’s my list of 15 players who could potentially be a fit with the Lions in free agency:
Dion Lewis, 27, RB, New England
Lewis got a chance to carry a majority of the load for the Patriots’ running game last year, and he didn’t disappoint. He averaged a terrific 5.0 yards per carry for 896 yards and six touchdowns. He also caught 32 passes for another three scores, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown to give him an even 10 touchdowns on the year.
Nigel Bradham, 28, LB, Philadelphia
Bradham is the kind of wily veteran that can step right into the SAM spot and be a playmaker. He’s also versatile enough to shift inside alongside Jarrad Davis in a 3-4 look. He recorded 88 tackles last year, but was the best 4-3 cover linebacker as graded by Pro Football Focus with eight passes defended.
Dontari Poe, 27, DT, Atlanta
At 347 pounds, Poe can anchor the nose in a 3-4, but is also versatile enough to slide over in a 4-3. He’s only missed two games over his six-year career, and recorded 38 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year. He earned a positive grade from PFF last season as both a run stopper and pass rusher.