3 ‘Second-Wave’ Free Agents the Detroit Lions should consider

After getting off to a horrendous 1-6 start in 2022, the Detroit Lions stayed the course, and they ended up winning eight of their final ten games to finish with an overall record of 9-8. Unfortunately, they came up just short of making the NFL Playoffs, but the way they performed over their final ten games has the rest of the NFL on high alert for the 2023 season. Heading into the offseason, many believed the Lions would not be big players. After all, Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell both hinted that they were unlikely to make any big splashes. As we now know, that was not quite true as they absolutely made some big splashes, and they may not be done.

Detroit Lions Free Agent quarterbacks 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2023 NFC North Anthony Pittman Super Bowl 2023 NFL Draft

Key Points

  • The Detroit Lions had a strong finish to the 2022 season, winning eight of their final ten games to finish with a 9-8 record.
  • Despite falling short of the playoffs, the Lions have made significant moves in free agency to improve their team, particularly in their secondary and replacing Jamaal Williams.
  • The Lions still have positions of need, including interior defensive line and backup quarterback, which they could address in the “second wave” of free agency.
  • Three potential “second wave” free agents the Lions should consider signing are DT A'Shawn Robinson, DT Poona Ford, and QB Teddy Bridgewater.
  • Robinson and Ford could help solidify the Lions' run defense, while Bridgewater could provide a dependable backup for starting QB Jared Goff.

Why it Matters for Detroit Lions

Yes, the Lions have made some huge moves in free agency, mostly to solidify their secondary, and to replace Jamaal Williams, who left for the New Orleans Saints. In addition, they will surely be adding some very good players via the 2023 NFL Draft, as they currently hold four picks in the first two rounds. But, there are still some positions of need that Brad Holmes could address in the “second wave” of free agency.

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3 ‘Second-Wave' Free Agents the Detroit Lions should consider

The first wave of the 2023 free-agency period has pretty much come to an end, but that does not mean the Detroit Lions are done adding players to their roster. Here are 3 ‘Second-Wave' free agents the Lions should consider signing if the price is right.

DT A'Shawn Robinson

Here is a name you have heard before if you happen to be a fan of the Detroit Lions, as he was originally selected by the Lions in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Lions struggled to stop the run in 2022, and that is exactly what Robinson, who is now 28, specializes in. Despite missing the second half of the 2022 season due to a torn meniscus, Robinson's 73.6 grade for run defense over the last two seasons ranks tied for 12th among interior defenders, with his 46 defensive stops ranking in the top 20. Fortunately, he is expected to recover in time for the 2023 off-season activities based on the standard recovery timeline. Robinson's ability to command double teams and disrupt the run game on the front, standing at 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, is noteworthy. Although he is not known for generating pass-rush production, he recorded seven career sacks and had 42 tackles in 10 games last season.

DT Poona Ford

To improve their defensive line, the Lions may benefit from signing free agent DT Poona Ford, a position they have not addressed since the beginning of free agency. While Ford had a challenging season with the Seattle Seahawks in 2022, achieving a career-high of only three sacks and low numbers elsewhere, he has been one of the game's best interior run defenders throughout the first four years of his career. This could help address Detroit's struggling run defense. Although Pro Football Focus predicts Ford will receive a 2-year, $15 million contract, the Lions may be able to persuade him to join with a 1-year “prove-it” deal. Ford could revitalize his career with the Lions, and the Lions could benefit from having a player like Ford on their team. If Ford agrees to a team-friendly, 1-year deal, the Lions should consider pursuing him.

QB Teddy Bridgewater

To be completely honest, I am a bit surprised that Bridgewater is not already a Detroit Lion. Heading into the offseason, Brad Holmes told reporters that he would not wait until the last minute to land a formidable backup quarterback, as he did in 2022 when he had to settle for Nate Sudfeld. Well, up to this point, the only backup QB the Lions have signed is, you guessed it, Nate Sudfeld. Now, don't think I am getting my panties in a bunch about the Lions' current backup QB situation, because I'm not. There is still plenty of time for the Lions to either select a QB in the 2023 NFL Draft or to select a backup QB with more experience than Sudfeld. Enter Teddy Bridgewater. Next season, Teddy Bridgewater could be seen as a reliable and seasoned backup for starter Jared Goff. During his time with the Miami Dolphins in 2022, Bridgewater made 79 attempts, completing 62% of his passes with four touchdown passes and four interceptions.

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Bottom Line: The Detroit Lions free agency frenzy may not be over

Despite falling just short of the NFL playoffs last season, the Detroit Lions have caught the attention of the league with their impressive performance in the latter half of the season. In the off-season, they have made significant moves in free agency, including solidifying their secondary and replacing a key player who left for another team. With four picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Lions are poised to further bolster their roster. However, there are still positions of need that could be addressed in the “second wave” of free agency. Three second-wave free agents that the Lions should consider signing include DT A'Shawn Robinson, DT Poona Ford, and QB Teddy Bridgewater. The Lions have already made some big moves, but with these potential additions, they could further improve their chances of success in the upcoming season.

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