Detroit Lions: Signing a familiar face with the offseason in limbo critical

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

At this point, bringing back Mike Daniels on a one-year deal wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Detroit Lions to consider.

The NFL season remains somewhat in flux due to COVID-19.  The Detroit Lions have money to spend if they see fit, so why not take another flier on a player like Mike Daniels?

The Lions desperately need to improve their abysmal pass-rush from a year ago, and although Daniels failed to workout last season, perhaps a reunion wouldn’t be the worst idea for the franchise.

The interior part of the Detroit Lions defensive line remains a significant question mark entering the 2020 season.   It’s a revamped group led by Danny Shelton. Although he didn’t cross paths with Matt Patricia during his time in New England, the former Patriot is the prototypical nose tackle for Patricia’s style of defense.

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Shelton won’t create much of a pass-rush but hopes to excel inside on early downs controlling the line of scrimmage and plugging up the opposing teams’ rushing attack.  The Lions will often deploy Shelton along with Da’Shawn Hand inside on early downs to prevent the run.

The biggest question surrounding the position for the Detroit Lions comes on third down and sure passing situations.

Detroit signed Nick Williams, who enjoyed the best year of his career last season as a member of the Chicago Bears.  Williams is a situational lineman that’s expected to thrive in Detroit, creating an interior push and create pressure on the passer. The question remains, was last season a fluke or will Williams be able to build on his impressive 2019 campaign?

Last season Williams earned a name for himself after four subpar seasons.  The heavily traveled Williams hopes to make his fourth different roster in his spotty five-year career.  Last season with Chicago Williams recorded career-highs across the board earning six sacks, and 21 total hurries.

The Lions also will rotate John Atkins and rookie John Penisini, but it wouldn’t hurt to secure the position with a veteran like Daniels.  Daniels praised head coach Matt Patricia last season, calling him a defensive guru.  Although we’ve yet to see that transpire, however, in Detroit, Daniels is a veteran player that has a chance to perform with little to no training camp or preseason.

Daniels knows the Patricia system after playing sparingly in its last season. Daniels played in just nine contests last year, and only compiled a career-low 203 defensive snaps.  Before last season according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Daniels had produced at least a 70 or above pass-rush grade in each of his previous four seasons.

Last season in Detroit, Daniels recorded 12 tackles to go with just 13 total pressures and one sack.  He’s not a sure thing now at 31-years old, but he may have enough juice left to provide Detroit a much-needed pass-rush if he’s completely healthy.

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This would be a cheap one-year commitment worth entertaining.  Daniels would likely only command somewhere around $5-million as he tries to prove to the league he has something left in the tank.