5 players the Detroit Lions need to prioritize in free agency

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(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions, De'Vondre Campbell
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The Detroit Lions should make signing De’Vondre Campbell a priority.

There is no better feeling than snatching a productive player from one of your rivals, and particularly an All-Pro.

The Green Bay Packers were in cap hell entering the offseason, and things didn’t get any better since giving their future Hall Of Fame quarterback a massive contract extension that, in all likelihood, keeps him with the organization for the remainder of his career.  The Packers also used the franchise tag ($18.4 million) on star receiver Davante Adams.

The Packers also have a couple of others making massive money, including starting left tackle David Bakhtiari who carries a $14.4 million cap hit this season which moves up to $30 million next season.  His dead cap number is $39 million this year and $26.8 million next.  Defensive tackle Kenny Clark averages $17.5 million, and let’s not forget about Aaron Jones, who signed a large extension last year.

Although the Packers can keep their core together, something has to give.  Depth players such as Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, and others are forced to look elsewhere for employment.

De’Vondre Campbell was one of the biggest bargains in all of football last season.  The 28-year old linebacker totaled a whopping 146 tackles, 102 of which were of the solo variety.  He also added a pair of sacks and two interceptions en route to a first-team All-Pro honor while only earning $2 million.  Needless to say, the veteran linebacker made himself a boatload of money this offseason.

The Detroit Lions need to find someone to pair with second-year linebacker Derrick Barnes. Although the recently released soon-to-be 32-year-old Bobby Wagner is a very enticing option, Campbell recently proved to be just as productive and will come at probably half the price.

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Spotrac predicts Campbell to earn $6.2 million annually, or a three-year deal worth $18.8 million.  This would be a significant raise for Campbell and remains a team-friendly agreement if he can mirror his success from 2021.