ESPN Simulation Believes Lions Land Top Free Agent Defender

Trey Hendrickson

Getty Trey Hendrickson during a Saints preseason game.

The Detroit Lions are getting set to attack free agency and are likely pondering their first moves once the NFL offseason officially gets going in just under a week’s time.

Naturally, there are plenty of players the team could pursue and plenty of different options that could interest them on the market on both sides of the football. One of the more intriguing names out there set to be available is Trey Hendrickson, a defensive end from the New Orleans Saints. In a recent ESPN piece, writers attempt to project where the big-name free agents will sign, and the Lions had a couple of forays into the market.

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Writer Michael Rothstein had the team making a pitch to Hendrickson for four years and $45 million dollars to join the team. A competing offer from the Saints was not good enough to keep Hendrickson. In the end, fellow writer Dan Graziano had Hendrickson accepting this offer from Detroit given the fact it was more money and

Graziano wrote:

“These offers are very close, and while I appreciate the Saints’ attempt to fit me into their delicate cap situation, I’m going with Detroit. I like the extra year and the more robust guarantee, and I know coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn well from their time in New Orleans.”

Detroit was also pitching John Johnson III in the piece, but ended up losing out on the safety to the Las Vegas Raiders in a hypothetical deal. Obviously, adding a piece like Hendrickson could be huge for Detroit given the fact that the team struggles to rush the passer. Finding a way to add Johnson as well could turn out to be the perfect offseason for the team as a whole.

Trey Hendrickson Stats and Fit With Lions

Given the Lions are now set to let Romeo Okwara walk, they could want to make a bigger splash in this market. Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn could set their sights on someone like Henderson of the Saints. A productive player who is going to get a significant raise, Hendrickson could look good in Detroit given his 20 career sacks already since entering the league in 2017. The Lions might have to spend a bit bigger, but if they are looking for a decent-sized buy, Hendrickson could be the right way to go. If the Lions can find a way to get Hendrickson in the mix, he could help the team and their toughness from day one.

In his career, Hendrickson has 65 tackles and 20 total sacks and could be an ascending talent for a team like Detroit to remember.

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Lions Need Defensive Line Help

Regardless of who is the one filling the void, the defensive line is going to have to be a major focus for the Lions this offseason. The last few seasons, the team has not managed to get off the field nor have they created much havoc in the pocket in terms of sacks and fumbles. This has to change moving forward to help not only the front, but the back end of the team’s defense. Last season, the Lions only put up 24 sacks as a team. 10 of those may leave if Romeo Okwara departs in free agency.

No matter who is the pick, it’s clear the Lions are going to have to do something to restock their depth up front. Grabbing a player like Hendrickson could be a good way for them to get that done in 2021 while also garnering some results on the field.

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