The Detroit Lions are motoring toward the free agency period and the official start of the 2021 offseason, and with this in mind, the team will have some big choices to make in the coming days as it relates to who they bring back for the future.
Where the Lions have several players who should be considered for a return, they also have just as many players who it could make more sense to let walk and find a new deal in free agency when the time comes.
Which players should the Lions not bring back this offseason? Here’s a look at some of the top names the team should decide to let walk when the time comes.
Jarrad Davis, Linebacker
Davis is a good person and a solid leader for the team, but thus far, his tenure as a linebacker has left plenty to be desired. He hasn’t lived up to the billing as a first-round pick from 2017 and has struggled to find a home within Detroit’s defense since. As a result, the Lions didn’t pick up the fifth-year option oF Davis last year and he could soon be on the move. If the Lions want to see if Davis will work in a new defense, they could bring him back on a short-term deal and try him in more of a pass rushing or speed role. Short of doing that, though, it seems he could simply be out of chances in Detroit given what the team hoped for him coming in as a touted draft selection.
Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver
For the last few seasons, Amendola has given the Lions decent production at a cheap cost. Even such, it seems that it’s time for the veteran wideout to move on. It could be more likely that Amendola retires rather than getting a new shot with the Lions. The team probably wants to get younger at wide receiver, and letting Amendola walk is a good step toward that. The team needs some new production and speed, and at this point, Amendola is not likely to be the one who can provide that for the Lions and their new-look offense.
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Miles Killebrew, Safety
Killebrew hasn’t lived up to his billing as a third-round pick in terms of starting snaps on the defense, but has played a key role on special teams. Does he stick around for that role alone, or could the Lions find something to do with Killebrew at safety or linebacker? It’s seemed Killebrew has been living on borrowed time the last few seasons given these roster realities, and with a new staff coming in, it could be time for a fresh start. If Killebrew does come back, it will be with designs of making an impact on special teams. Given all the roster needs, it’s probably not likely the Lions keep him around just for that and that alone.
Everson Griffen, Defensive End
The Lions made the move to nab Griffen late last season to help their defense and his impact was debatable. Griffen did collect 3 sacks late last year, but that isn’t a high total and the Lions could be better served looking to pick up a young player in the draft or sign a few low buy free agents while bringing back Romeo Okwara. Griffen is getting a bit long in the tooth, and the team didn’t profit in a big way from his arrival last season. All this combined helps some of the other signs point toward Griffen not returning, and that should be the decision the Lions make when all is said and done with his status this year.
Marvin Jones, Wide Receiver
Before the offseason began, it seemed like a good idea to at least consider bringing Jones back given the production he has turned in for the Detroit offense the last few seasons. Now, Jones could have ideas that he wants to play elsewhere and is looking for an instant winner in free agency. If that’s the case, the Lions should look to move on and find a better way to spend some bucks at wide receiver. Jones was great, but if he isn’t willing to play for the Lions and is looking for a better situation, it could be best for both parties to simply move on at this point in time.