The Detroit Lions are ready to kick off the offseason, and before that, the NFL combine offers a chance for the team’s power brokers to set the table and prepare for the days ahead.
Brad Holmes has been an open book early in his tenure, and has done a good job to position the Lions well for a turnaround. Heading into the 2023 offseason, he has a chance to help the team take some major steps forward to the future.
Meeting with the media, Holmes addressed some of the early concepts of the offseason, and dropped some telling hints about some moves the team could look to make in the days ahead.
Lions Will Be Varied Within Free Agency Approach
While everyone has their opinions about the neediest spots for the Lions, it was clear after listening to Holmes speak that there will be a varied approach for the team.
The team might need defense most of all, but they are going to cast a wide net to find improvements across the roster. Holmes was asked about the plans for free agency, and as he admitted, anything is possible.
“Obviously, you look at where we were at defensively, we’d like to add more on defense. But I’ll tell you what, we said at the start of our free agency meetings last year were a little more pointed but I think every position is on the table. There’s not one position we can think of – offense and defense – that we need to address. Whether that’s starting level players or looking at some good quality depth,” Holmes said at the combine as tweeted by Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News.
Defense might be a bigger priority than some of the other spots, but if there is a place of need on the Lions, it’s fair to remember it could be upgraded in the days ahead.
Lions Will Look at Quarterback Solutions
Many will discount the need for quarterbacks because the team has a resurgent Jared Goff on the roster, but it’s clear that Holmes is interested in some kind of upgrade at the position.
Goff’s backup is currently Nate Sudfeld, and that might not be good enough for the future. Enter Holmes, and a potential change at the position this offseason. That’s true even if Goff doesn’t lose his job.
“I feel like last year we left training camp kind of sliding into home plate trying to fill that backup quarterback role. That’s on me, I’ve got to do a better job of making sure we’re not in that position again. So that is something we’re going to need to address whether it’s here in free agency or in the draft. That’s something we’ve had a lot of conversations about. But I’ve got to do a better job of getting that rectified,” Holmes said as shown in Bianchi’s tweet.
Clearly, the Lions are going to be in the market for something at the position, and that is pretty notable heading toward the offseason. A more stable option with Goff figures to be on the table.
Jamaal Williams Deal Coming Soon for Lions
The biggest move to start this offseason could be with running back Jamaal Williams. It’s seemed like the Lions and Williams were heading for a return, and that could be the case in the coming days.
As Holmes explained, a deal with Williams could be the first order of business for the offseason, and there could be mutual interest in making something happen.
“We’re having discussions now currently. We’re saving discussions with all of our UFA’s who are on expiring deals. There’s a mutual interest to hopefully get him back, and we still have (D’Andre) Swift as a free agent,” Holmes said as shown in Bianchi’s tweet.
It seems a matter of time now before a deal is done, and that’s good news for the Lions and their franchise.
Lions Offseason Plan Will Look Similar
Detroit might have more money to spend this year, and that could lead to some dreaming of the team being aggressive. In the end, though, the Lions might choose to stay the course with the players they do bring into the mix.
Marc Skol Jr. was taking in the Holmes presser, and recounted how Detroit’s general manager feels as if the team has a solid foundation and wants to continue the same process forward this offseason.
“Lions GM Brad Holmes addresses the media at the NFL Combine. He likes the foundation the Lions have built and wants to approach this off-season the same as last year,” Skol tweeted.
Last year, the Lions managed to do short-term deals to build depth while using the draft to build their team. The draft picks stepped up and looked fantastic in both 2021 and 2022. 2023 may be no exception, so those dreaming of Holmes changing things up may have to dream on.