The Detroit Lions need to consider a reunion with Quandre Diggs

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions need to consider a reunion with Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs this offseason.

It has nothing to do with the Lions but everything to do with former head coach Matt Patricia. There is no reason why current Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes can’t reanalyze and repair the frayed relationship between Diggs and the Lions. That should leave the door open for a reunion, and Detroit can undoubtedly use a Pro Bowl-caliber safety to lead the backend of this mixed and matched secondary in 2022.

The fact of the matter is, Diggs should be a pending free agent with the Detroit Lions, not the Seattle Seahawks. Still, as usual, Patricia’s giant ego took over, and rather than keeping his best players that may push back against his Patriot-like antics, he opted to dismantle the roster leaving Detroit uncompetitive.

Imagine trying to justify trading a Pro Bowl safety plus a seventh-round draft pick in exchange for a fifth-round pick. Yikes. That choice turned out to be running back Jason Huntley. Ouch.

Not only did Patricia ruin a relationship with Diggs but also Darius Slay and Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison. I can’t help but wonder how well Diggs and Slay would have impacted Aaron Glenn’s defense.

The Detroit Lions need to consider a reunion with Pro Bowl safety Quandre Diggs.

Unfortunately, Diggs suffered a broken fibula and a dislocated ankle in Seattle’s final game of the season. The 29-year old star safety is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to go for the start of the 2022 NFL season.

Diggs hoped to land a contract extension with the Seahawks last summer but failed to get a new deal. Diggs is expected to cash in via free agency after leading all pending free agent safeties with 1,228 defensive snaps, five interceptions, plus finished fourth with 94 tackles.

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Diggs earned an overall grade of 71.6 for his work this past season. Diggs’ injury may force his value to decrease some on the open market, but I expect he’ll earn a significant raise after the season he produced in 2021.

Diggs is coming off a year that paid him $6.1 million, but his deal only carried a cap hit of $3.6 million. Diggs will likely earn about $13 million annually on his new contract. Is that too rich for the rebuilding Detroit Lions? Time will tell, but they will have the cap space if they’d like to bring back a great player and an even better leader.

Although the Detroit Lions found a few diamonds in the rough in their secondary this past season with Jerry Jacobs and A.J. Parker. They desperately need help at the safety position moving forward. Will Harris is under contract for one more season, but he’s best suited as a backup and special teams contributor.

Tracy Walker is a pending free agent and is a candidate to be re-signed at the right price. Walker is coming off a career year; he led all pending free agent safeties with 108 total tackles over just 770 defensive snaps. Walker also hauled in one interception along with producing one sack.

Walker is in line for a significant raise coming off his rookie deal which paid him a mere $2.1 million last season. I’d expect Walker to secure a multi-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million annually.

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Without making any moves, the Detroit Lions will enter the offseason with just over $30.6 million in cap space.  I expect to see a few players bought out including Trey Flowers and perhaps Will Harris to save the organization some additional cap space. Diggs and Walker could reunite and be a reliable safety tandem in Aaron Glenn’s defense.