When looking at the Lions roster, there are multiple positions that need to be addressed before the team can even think about being a true contender.
One of those positions is safety and it is crucial that the Lions solidify it either via free agency, the 2022 NFL Draft, or both.
When looking at the safeties that could soon become available in free agency, one player who stands out to me is former Lions safety, Quandre Diggs.
Diggs, who is 29, is an old friend as he played for the Lions from 2015 to 2019 (he was traded to the Seahawks during the 2019 season).
Seahawks’ free-agent-to-be safety Quandre Diggs is expected to be fully cleared from his ankle injury for all football activities in June, per sources. Diggs broke his ankle in week 17 of the NFL season but his doctors say he is recovering well.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 3, 2022
Here is what Pro Football Focus has to say about Diggs, who they have ranked as their No. 52 free agent.
Diggs is a pure free safety who rarely leaves the deep third of the field, patrolling the back end while Jamal Adams played down in the box and closer to the line of scrimmage. Diggs does not miss an opportunity to force a turnover, intercepting 21.6% of passes thrown into his coverage since 2019, which is the top mark among safeties and has translated into 11 interceptions over the span (tied for third among safeties). Diggs could push for a contract like the ones recently doled out to San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward (three years, $28.5 million), Las Vegas Raiders safety Lamarcus Joyner (four years, $42 million) and Houston Texans safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (three years, $22.5 million). All three players are sub-6-foot and were at least 28 years old at the time of signing.
– Recognition and instincts
– Athletic range in zone coverage
– Playmaking at the catch point
– Tackling on the perimeter
RELIABLE STARTING SAFETY: Diggs' position change was the best thing to happen to his trajectory, and his skill set would be a core piece for any secondary. He's been a capable free safety for the Seahawks, but he could add even more value to a defense that prefers to play multiple coverage schemes.
Recent Injury History:
Diggs hasn't been listed on a gameday injury report since 2019, which was for a high-ankle sprain. In that same season, the safety struggled with recovering from a hamstring injury.
Contract Projection: Three years, $30 million ($10M per year, $16.5 million total guaranteed)
Diggs won't be a transformative addition, but his addition would provide relief to any defense in the middle of the field. One can make the argument that if Seattle had another safety versatile enough to mix up its coverages, Diggs would have more tape showcasing his versatility.
Nation, would you like to see the Lions bring back Quandre Diggs? If so, would you be willing to give him a 3-year, $30 million contract?