A report indicates a position the Detroit Lions may heavily pursue in free agency, but it might not be one most fans would expect.
Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn didn’t reveal a lot about the team’s offseason plans during his press conference at the NFL Combine yesterday. He did, however, say that the team would like to take a shot at some of the top free agents on the market.
Per a report from Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, one of those shots could come on the offensive line at guard.
This is not to say there won’t be other positions the Lions may be chasing top free agents but this is one that might not have made the top three on most fans’ list. Quinn did say that the team has been in contact with both Riley Reiff and Larry Warford, and Warford figures to be one of the top 3-4 guards on the market with the likes of Kevin Zeitler and T.J. Lang.
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Taking Quinn at face value regarding Warford, Robinson’s report makes sense in that regard alone.
What remains to be seen is what happens if they don’t get a new deal done with Warford. Does that take them out of the market for one of the top guards or do pursue Zeitler and/or Lang? Either player would be a worth replacement, perhaps even an upgrade. Zeitler should top the guard market, while Lang may be had for a little less per year on a shorter deal.
But it has seemed that the Lions have prepared for Warford’s departure going back to the 2016 NFL Draft. They drafted two interior offensive linemen in Graham Glasgow and Joe Dahl. Glasgow supplanted Laken Tomlinson as the starter at left guard before having to move to center for the injured Travis Swanson, but Tomlinson is a more natural right guard anyway. Sliding him to right guard to compete with Dahl for 2017 seemed like a natural plan already in place but that assumption may be faulty given Robinson’s report.
Warford had a solid, if unspectacular, year, but perhaps there really is a good chance he returns, or perhaps the Lions are even more down on Tomlinson than they showed in benching him for Glasgow. Time will tell, but it looks like there may be even more options on the table than initially speculated.