Detroit Lions: A reunion with Mike Daniels makes sense

(Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Leiter/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions need to consider bringing back veteran defensive tackle Mike Daniels on another one-year commitment.

The first year with the Detroit Lions didn’t go so well for Mike Daniels, but at this point, a reunion could help both parties try and ‘right the wrong.’  Before the start of last season, the Green Bay Packers decided to cut ties with Daniels.

The veteran interior pass-rushing tackle decided to join what was expected to be surging Detroit defense under the guidance of what Daniels referred to his new head coach as a defensive genius.  Usually, when veteran players sign within their division, they are trying to ‘stick’ it to their former team twice a year.

The problem is, in 2019, the Detroit Lions imploded with Patricia at the helm during his second year as the team’s head coach.  It was a disaster on defense; the unit was simply atrocious defending the run or the pass.  At times it appeared the Detroit Lions couldn’t stop a fast-food wrapper blowing in the wind.

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Things in the locker room started to go south when the Lions decided to trade a team captain, locker room leader and starting safety Quandre Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks for a mere fifth-round draft pick.  The insult to injury came when Diggs played at a pro bowl level with his new team.

From that point on, Damon Harrison, and Darius Slay were waiting to punch their ticket out of Detroit, and that they did at seasons end.  Daniels, on the other hand, didn’t speak his mind too much, possibly not wanting to burn any bridges in hopes of a reunion?  After struggling to remain healthy last season, and now May, Daniels could be had off of the bargain shelf.

Daniels proved to be ineffective along with Damon Harrison in ’19 leaving the Lions secondary to cover these NFL receivers for more than five seconds at a time.  I don’t care how good of a corner you are; it’s nearly impossible to stick with a talented professional receiver for that long.  The only player in league history I’d challenge with that task would be Deion Sanders.

The Detroit Lions signed Danny Shelton to be the early-down run-stopping nose tackle, along with adding Nick Williams from the Chicago Bears during the free agency period.  They will join John Atkins and rookie John Penisini and Kevin Strong on Detroit’s roster.

The only right starting talent in this group is Shelton, but he’s not a rushing tackle, leaving an opportunity for a reunion with Daniels possible.  Williams enjoyed success last season for the first time in his career, playing alongside arguably the league’s top defensive tackle, Akiem Hicks.  Will Williams be able to mirror the same success this season, working beside Shelton?

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Daniels, hampered with injuries last season, only totaled 189 defensive snaps, recording just ten tackles, two of which for a loss and only quarterback sack.