Underrated Stud Revealed as Lions’ Top Free Agent They ‘Can’t Lose’

John Cominsky

Getty John Cominsky hits Aaron Jones and forces a fumble in 2023.

The Detroit Lions have plenty of players that may need to come back for the 2023 season, but given how many players excelled on one-year deals, that list is long.

Whittling it down might not be easy for Brad Holmes and his brass, but it is easier for fans and analysts, all of whom have their “must sign” players picked out for this coming offseason.

Pro Football Focus is no exception to the rule, and writer Brad Speilberger was recently tasked with coming up with his top free agent that each team cannot afford to lose. For Detroit, the answer might be a surprise in John Cominsky.

With bigger name offensive studs like running back Jamaal Williams and wideout DJ Chark set to hit the market, Spielberger votes that the team cannot let Cominsky go due to everything he brought to the team’s defense and the major fit he proved to be all year long.

“Cominsky brought versatility and physicality to the Lions’ defense in his first season in Detroit, becoming a more consistent pass rusher with his 6-foot-5, 285-pound frame that also enabled him to kick inside. He and rookie first-rounder Aidan Hutchinson both demonstrated positional flexibility along the defensive line, which could help Detroit construct different looks and manufacture pressure on opposing quarterbacks if he’s kept around for 2023 and beyond,” Spielberger said in the piece.

Specifically, when Cominsky was given the chance to be a starter, he was able to demonstrate his chops as a defender and specifically a pass rusher from that point forward.

“Cominsky became an official starter in Week 11, and his 31 quarterback pressures from that point through the end of the regular season tied for eighth among edge defenders,” he concluded.

Indeed, Cominsky passed the eye test for Lions fans all season long. When he was injured early on in the season with a hand ailment, Detroit’s pass rush suffered immensely until his midseason return. That only serves to prove his worth in the grand scheme of things.

Cominsky fits the culture and he also fits the team’s scheme. To that end, Spielberger and PFF don’t seem to think the Lions can go without him in 2023.

Cominsky Has Major Desire for Lions Return

Not only is Cominsky telling the media he wants to return to the Lions, but he is putting it out there publicly as well.

Cominsky hopped on Instagram after the season concluded to share his thoughts. As he said, the season taught him a lot about goals as well as himself. He admitted that he wants to stick with the team as a result of how the season went and what was accomplished.

“Exit meeting 2021-22 season: “Can I please get released?” Exit meeting 2022-23 season: “Can you please bring me back?” Life is absolutely insane. Sacrifices had to be made and uncertainty was my reality most of my career. Let this season be a testament to the fact that your “plays” are coming. Keep putting your time and effort into what you want and your big plays in life will come to you naturally. Learned a lot from this game and excited for what’s next. Thank you to the Lions organization and my family for making this possible. If I haven’t said it already, I WANT TO BE A LION. Tag Detroit Lions in the comments to make sure the message is loud and clear,” Cominsky wrote in a post.

That’s quite a definitive statement by Cominsky, which only serves to prove that he is genuine about his intentions. It’s been a while since the Lions have had a player so motivated to return, but Cominsky seems to fit that bill.

Why Lions Should Re-Sign Cominsky

A gritty player who buys in and fits the culture at a position of major need should always be high on the list for a team, and that should put Cominsky in high demand in Detroit.

With his energetic and tough approach, statistically, Cominsky enjoyed his best season in the NFL with Detroit, posting 30 total tackles, four sacks, one forced fumble and three passes defended. All season long, he continued to show his strength to the roster and the defense. Constantly, he collapsed the pocket up front and was responsible on the edge.

Additionally, he followed the ball and caused turnovers as he did in Week 18, when he slammed Aaron Jones and caused a game-changing fumble in Detroit’s 20-16 win.

Unsung hero delivers game changing turnover | John Cominsky (ED – 79) Week 18 Highlights @ GBJohn Cominsky (DET ED – 79): 90.2 PFF grade, 71.2 RDEF grade, 2 solo tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 2 run stops, 11.8% run stop rate, 1.0 average depth of tackle, 68.6 PRSH grade, 5 pressures, 1 hit, 4 hurries, 4 pass rush wins, 17.4% win rate, 10.9 PRP, 94.3 COV grade, 1/1, 8 yards, 1…2023-01-13T03:00:17Z

Cominsky has made his public pleas to return in recent days, and it only shows how bought-in he is.

Combine that with his abilities, and this could be a win-win for the Lions to bring Cominsky back. At this point, they might not be able to afford losing him.

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