The Detroit Lions haven’t gotten to the quarterback much if at all in the 2020 season, so they are scouring the market looking for help at doing so.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the next place they could turn is another familiar face. Schefter reported that free agent defensive end Jabaal Sheard is visiting the Lions and pondering a reunion with Matt Patricia, the coach he won Super Bowl LI with.
Veteran free-agent DE Jabaal Sheard, who has been waiting for the right opportunity and deal, is visiting with the Lions for a potential reunion in Detroit with HC Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn, per source. They all won a Super Bowl together in New England.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 24, 2020
As Schefter says, Sheard has been waiting for the right situation and a deal, and it’s possible he could find that with the Lions. Detroit can’t rush the passer a bit this season and struggles in the trenches, meaning the chance for Sheard to come in and make an impact is certainly there.
At this point, the Lions could use all the help they can get with just 2 credited sacks through 2 games. That’s not nearly enough to get by.
Jabaal Sheard Stats
At 31, Sheard has had a full career at this point in time. He started with the Cleveland Browns in 2011 after being a 2nd round pick. From there, he went to the New England Patriots in 2015 where Bob Quinn and Patricia would know him from. After that, he spent 2017-2019 with the Indianapolis Colts.
In his career, Sheard has bene productive with 51.5 sacks and has fit in with a variety of locker rooms which could give him the chance to come in and be a solid addition for the Lions.
Writer: Jabaal Sheard Signing With Lions Makes Sense
During this past offseason, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press was asked about free agency in a mailbag segment and provided an answer. It might not be an answer that fans in search of a big name will like, however.
As Birkett wrote, Jadeveon Clowney would have helped the Lions, but he priced himself out of range for Detroit so he was not the choice. That could leave a pair of other options in Markus Golden and Jabaal Sheard. Golden, of course, signed elsewhere. Even at the time, though, Birkett felt that Sheard could make the most sense because of his cost and potential easy fit within Detroit’s locker room.
“Clowney is good enough to help the Lions (or most teams; the Tennessee Titans are the rumored top suitor), but I think the Lions will add a lower-priced veteran to the mix at some point before the start of the regular season. ESPN’s Matt Bowen offered Markus Golden as a possibility. He had 10 sacks last season for the Giants and would fit at outside linebacker in Detroit, where Jamie Collins and Julian Okwara could have roles. The guy that makes more sense to me is Jabaal Sheard. He’s 31 and wouldn’t provide nearly the same pass rush, but he spent the 2015-16 seasons with the New England Patriots and would fit seamlessly into the Lions’ scheme and locker room.”
Sheard is a player who came into his own a bit in Matt Patricia’s scheme in New England, racking up 387 combined tackles and 51.5 sacks in his career. With the Indianapolis Colts, Sheard racked up 15.5 sacks the last 3 years and has been very productive.
Adding that kind of production late in free agency would have been huge for the Lions if Sheard could give it to them. Safe to say Birkett thought it was possible at the time, and that might still be the case now with this visit playing out.