Detroit Lions free agency issues: Cornerback


It is now official Eric Wright has left the building and signed a lucrative contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The situation with the Lions secondary has now come full head this is the one spot on the field where the Lions could use a huge upgrade and I mean huge. They not only need a corner that can cover a guy down the field like saran wrap, but also a guy that can come up and make big plays against the run. The salary cap reality here is the Lions are not going to get a shut down corner, but they could get a very good corner that along with improved D line play could be just as good.

I am probably a lot higher on Chris Houston and Alphonso Smith than most Lions fans. However I like all of you know that this defense got blown out twice late in 2011, but in the first half I though the Lions secondary did OK. Just being OK is not the goal of a NFL team and I firmly believe that corner will be addressed by this team in April’s draft. The salary cap limitations even with the 9 million saved with Calvin Johnson’s new deal, are just not going to leave enough dollars to pursue a ton of free agent upgrades.

Beyond that good NFL teams are built through the draft. Strike that, good professional sports teams are built through the draft. We have seen clear evidence in Detroit with the Tigers, Red Wings, and the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons. Landing a shut down corner in the draft is a far better proposition, which will also be cheaper in the short term.
The thing about the current group (now minus Wright) is they have big play potential but they always seem poised to give up a big play. That is the major concern with Smith moving forward. There is some though that many free agent CB’s would love to play behind the Lions D line, but with limited cap space that does not seem to be where this issue gets fixed.

For now the Lions move ahead with Smith, Houston, Aaron Berry (who is an interesting player) and backups Don Carey and Ross Weaver. Brandon Carr looked like a good fit for this team given his connections to Gunther Cunningham but he has signed a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. The Lions will likely have a shot at drafting Janoris Jenkins but his character issues make him seem unworthy of the 23rd overall pick in the draft.

We have seen Lions General Manager trade away late round picks to move up in the second and third rounds before. There may be a plan coming together to do so once again. That of course is depending on what this front office thinks of Jenkins. Whatever the case cornerback is certainly a spot of the Detroit roster that will be addressed this off season.