Detroit Lions: Ten Free Agents to target this offseason

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
3 of 11
Detroit Lions
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

RT Jack Conklin

While we are talking about the Tennessee Titans, why not add another to the list?  It’s been mentioned over and over here that starting right tackle Rick Wagner hasn’t lived up to the hype.  When the Detroit Lions signed Wagner, he was supposed to be one of the best tackles available. The Baltimore Ravens were moving on because they have two tremendous tackles in place and weren’t willing to pay a back-up starters wage.

For Wagner in Detroit, it hasn’t worked out.  Last season he graded out as one of the leagues’ worst.  His 59.0 overall grade courtesy of PFF is bizarre.  It furthermore justifies why the Detroit Lions should be re-signing right guard Graham Glasgow rather than watching him walk in free agency.  If the Lions are going to continue to start Wagner, the right side of the OL looks problematic.

The Detroit Lions would be wise to release Wagner; by doing so, the organization would need to wear a $5.8 million dead cap number to watch him walk away.  Perhaps $5.8 million to walk is better than the $11.9 million it costs to retain him.

The Detroit Lions may be able to entice Jack Conklin, the former Michigan State Spartan, to join the Lions spinning the pitch as more of a homecoming experience.  Conklin still has aspirations of re-signing with the Titans, but Tennessee won’t be able to pay him similar money he will obtain on the open market.

The fact that the Detroit Lions are reluctant to spend what it will take to re-sign Glasgow makes this move unlikely, but if Detroit indeed expects to compete, money spent in the trenches is money well spent.

Conklin received a tremendous 78.0 overall grade last season, and an 80.5 run-blocking grade.  He’s a mauler and plays with a nasty streak, just what the Lions need.

I’d expect Conklin to command anywhere from $13 to $15 million per season on the open market.  A bit of a pipe dream, but a tremendous addition he’d be.