Writer Names Lions Best Free Agency Target

Chris Jones

Getty Chiefs defender Chris Jones.

The Detroit Lions have some big decision to make in free agency, and a big question swirling is what players might the team decide to pursue when all is said and done.

Plenty of votes have been made on that, and the latest one is a very interesting one to note. Justin Rogers of the Detroit News was asked in a recent mailbag segment how he’d approach free agency. His answer? Attack it up front and in the trenches.

His target? Chris Jones, defensive lineman of the Kansas City Chiefs. Jones could be set to soon cash in on the open market as a free agent if the Chiefs move on, and has been a player who has made a big impact. Here’s what Rogers said about the potential addition:

“With something around $40 million to work with entering free agency, it’s setting up for the Lions to be similarly aggressive to last offseason, when the franchise inked Trey Flowers, Justin Coleman and Jesse James to lucrative multi-year deals.

Of course, an extension for wide receiver Kenny Golladay has to be in the back of the organization’s mind, so that could be a factor in the spending plan.

In terms of where the Lions look to use their funds, that remains to be seen, but defensive line remains a logical bet. Among the big-ticket options, I’ll continue to cast my vote for Kansas City’s Chris Jones, a dynamic interior lineman who won’t turn 26 until July.”

Jones has been excellent in his career, with 146 tackles and 33 sacks. There’s little doubt the Lions need to figure out how to rush the passer better, and Jones could be a huge part of that equation for the team if the Lions end up pursuing him.

It’s a good plan according to the writer.

Another Analyst Names Lions Free Agency Targets

Recently, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press was asked in a mailbag segment what free agents he could see the Lions targeting, and proceeded to name plenty that could be of interest to the team when the negotiating period opens in March. Not shockingly, cornerback was a selection there, too.

According to Birkett, there is one side of the ball that is likely to see the most upgrade, and it’s the defensive side. Birkett thinks that the Lions will prioritize a cornerback, a lineman and a backup quarterback for the team this offseason the heaviest.

Here’s a look at what he wrote on the names that could eventually be in play for Detroit when all is said and done:

“The Lions need a cornerback, no matter what they decide to do with Darius Slay, and Byron Jones might be the best option. He tackles, he’s got size, and I don’t know how the Dallas Cowboys can bring him back given the other contracts they have to hand out.

I’d be stunned if the Lions don’t sign a veteran to back up Matthew Stafford. They showed some interest in Case Keenum last year, but couldn’t afford his salary. He won’t cost nearly as much as a free agent, so he’d be a possibility.

Ex-Patriots like Elandon Roberts will probably be on any Lions’ free-agent list, and while I doubt the Kansas City Chiefs let defensive tackle Chris Jones reach free agency, he should be the Lions’ No. 1 target if he’s available.”

Unsurprisingly, defense could be the major focus, and that makes sense for a team that finished the 2019 season in dreadful fashion on that side of the ball.

Lions 2020 Cap Space

Detroit will have a decent chunk of change to spend this offseason, having restructured Matthew Stafford’s deal to push their cap space to around $50 million dollars for the coming season. With this money, the Lions will have multiple different needs to address including the defensive line, secondary as well as potential upgrades on offense.

The Lions could always open up more space with a few savvy moves, and there could be other cap casualties that might impact the team’s final salary number more dramatically ahead of March.

For now, though, the Lions have a decent amount of money to spend to patch several of the holes they will be dealing with.

With a major need in the trenches, expect the Lions to make that a priority. Jones could be an interesting addition as it relates to that.

READ NEXT: Potential Lions Roster Casualties in 2020

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