Lions Implored to Add 3-time Super Bowl Champion Lineman

Dan Campbell

Getty Bleacher Report's NFL staff argued that head coach Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions should sign 3-time Super Bowl champion offensive lineman Marcus Cannon.

The Detroit Lions are 4-1 for the first time since 2011. But that doesn’t mean they can’t make at least subtle improvements to their roster.

The Bleacher Report NFL staff argued that the Lions could make a minor addition to their offensive line. With that in mind, the BR staff identified veteran offensive tackle Marcus Cannon as a possible free agency addition for Detroit.

“The Lions don’t need much as they’ve been really sharp this season. But they could afford to add some depth/an insurance policy at offensive tackle as Taylor Decker missed Weeks 2 and 3 and reportedly aggravated his injured ankle during his return in Week 4,” wrote the BR staff.

“Bringing in Cannon would give Detroit someone who has 11 years of experience to turn to in case of an emergency. It helps that he has played both left and right tackle as well.”

Last season, Cannon played five games for the New England Patriots. He started four of those contests.

In 2014, 2016 and 2018, Cannon helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl.

How Marcus Cannon Fits With the Lions

Cannon began his career as a fifth-round pick for the Patriots in 2011. He made the team as a rookie, appearing in seven games.

By 2013, Cannon was a reliable backup the Patriots would turn to when either of their starting tackles suffered an injury. He started 11 games from 2012-14.

In 2015, he started at least half a season for the first time, and then in 2016, Cannon became the team’s full-time starting right tackle. With the exception of the one contest last season, Cannon has started every game he’s played in since then.

He spent one season with the Houston Texans in 2021. Other than that, Cannon has played his entire career in New England.

Although not the Patriots, the Lions would be an excellent spot for Cannon to continue his career. After five weeks, Detroit appears to be in Super Bowl contention as the clear-cut favorite in the NFC North. More than likely, the veteran lineman would prefer to play for a contender at 35 years old.

The Lions should be interested in Cannon because of the veteran experience and insurance he could provide. With Cannon, Detroit’s offensive line would have the chance to continue playing at a high level if it lost one of its starting tackles for an extended period.

Cannon has never earned a Pro Bowl nomination, but he made second-team All Pro in 2016. Cannon also has a lot more playoff starting experience than the average player on Detroit’s roster.

He started 11 playoff games, including two Super Bowls, with the Patriots.

The Health of Detroit’s Offensive Line Heading Into Week 6

As the Bleacher Report NFL staff noted, starting left tackle Taylor Decker has been dealing with an ankle injury. The good news is he has played 100% of the team’s offensive snaps the past two weeks.

When Decker missed Weeks 2 and 3, right tackle Penei Sewell switched to left tackle, and Matt Nelson started at right tackle. Nelson, though, suffered an ankle injury and went on injured reserve after Week 3.

The Lions have practice squad tackles they could elevate if needed for one game. But the  lone backup tackle on the active roster at the moment is Colby Sorsdal, who the Lions selected in the fifth round of this year’s draft.

While Decker’s return solidified the edges of Detroit’s offensive line, the Lions still remain a single injury at tackle away from a late-round rookie seeing significant playing time.

To avoid that situation, the Lions should consider adding Cannon or another veteran offensive tackle in free agency.

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