Free Agency Might Offer Lions Another Top Running Back Fit

Le'Veon Bell

Getty Le'Veon Bell rushes the ball for a score against New Orleans in 2020.

The Detroit Lions have checked off several needs with their work in free agency combined with the 2021 NFL Draft, but as the offseason presses on, there are still spots that the team could look to for an addition.

In recent days, the Lions have looked at the running back market, and while many think that Todd Gurley could be the best answer, there are other players that could manage to give the Lions some good depth and playmaking at the spot if they so crave it.

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So which players make the most sense for the Lions at this point? Here’s a look at some of the best names left on the market.

Dede Westbrook, Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers

Westbrook has flown more than a bit under-the-radar in terms of his production and place in the NFL, but he’s still a very talented player. For the last four seasons, Westbrook has played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and put up some decent numbers early in his career. Westbrook has 1,716 yards and 9 touchdowns to his credit, and has been a speedy option for the team. The 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner in college at Oklahoma and a Heisman Trophy finalist, Westbrook was a former fourth-round pick and is a guy who could also give the Lions some speed and return ability if the team likes. It feels like Westbrook could bring the team a hint of what they needed.

Golden Tate, Wide Receiver, New York Giants

With the Lions, the wideout put up a solid 4,741 yards, 22 touchdowns and 441 receptions. He cracked the 2014 Pro Bowl for his work with the Lions, and was a solid player with the Seattle Seahawks before that. The last two seasons in New York, Tate’s numbers have fallen off considerably given his 8 touchdowns and 1,064 receiving yards, but there is little question what he brings to the mix as a stable, veteran presence for a team and a locker room. It could be a fun way to give the offense a little more juice to bring Tate in as insurance for the slot position. A return could be a very good idea for the Lions and for Tate as well, to finish out his career in a spot where he was always comfortable.

Tre Boston, Safety, Carolina Panthers

At 28, Boston is still a young man in football terms and has been very productive in the early part of his career in the league. A fourth-round pick out of UNC in 2014 of the Carolina Panthers, Boston joined the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017 where he crossed paths with Anthony Lynn. After a one-year stop with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, Boston returned for the last pair of seasons in Carolina before his release. Boston has been sneaky good in his career with 429 tackles, 15 interceptions and 3 sacks. He’s also deflected 42 passes and scored 1 touchdown during his time in the league. Boston’s 95 tackle season in 2020 would make him the most productive safety on the Detroit roster in terms of statistics.

Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs

The Lions have an apparent interest in Todd Gurley to help in running the ball for the team. Gurley, however, might choose to sign somewhere else, potentially even the Baltimore Ravens. Interestingly, though, there is another option on the market in the form of Bell, who had a tough finish to his 2020 season in Kansas City. Recent comments might make Bell seem poisonous to the locker room, but at 29, he could be solid for the Detroit team in terms of providing depth to round out the roster at the spot. If the Lions are looking at 27 year-old Gurley, Bell might be a good way to turn if the team feels like they need a little more help at running back in a young way with some potential upside.

Melvin Ingram, Linebacker, Los Angeles Chargers

Ingram has been a solid player in the NFL for a long time, and has done all his work since coming into the league as a first-round pick out of South Carolina in 2012. Since, Ingram has been a three-time Pro Bowl player, cracking the game from 2017 to 2019. He’s piled up 360 tackles during his time in the league as well as 49 sacks, making him a solid edge rusher. Ingram has also forced 14 fumbles, collected 3 interceptions and scored 1 touchdown. Ingram could be the best way to bring this group together and add another player to the mix.

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