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Who Should The Detroit Lions Retain In Free Agency?
A.J. Reilly: But let's get to Matt's question then we'll move on to the full Detroit Lions season. What do you guys think of the offensive skill positions?
What do they look like next year as far as the starters are concerned? Chark gonna stick around. Jamaal gonna be here. Swift.
Eric Vincent: Yeah, the Detroit Lions got some free agency calls to make. Jamaal's gonna be a free agent. Chark's a free agent off his…
A.J. Reilly: thanks Doc.
Eric Vincent: One-year tryout. I feel like it looks pretty similar. I've said, I said it last week, I think they're gonna bring Chark back. I think, Jamaal Williams in the terms of leadership, I think they have to keep him in. He's been really the personality and leader of this team. In terms of players, Dan Campbell's, the face, obviously the whole, but for me, Jamaal Williams is super important.
I think the Detroit Lions 100% can draft a guard in the draft because you saw between the health and the penalties that the offensive guards had, they were not good with a lot of things that you were looking for this year. So I can see them upgrading that in the draft, but a lot of the students…
A.J. Reilly: with Halapoulivaati Vaitai's contract potentially off the books next year, he could be a cap casualty.
D'Andre Swift Is Gonna Be The Biggest Wild Card
Eric Vincent: Absolutely. Swift is gonna be the biggest wild card. Does he get franchised? Like, I don't know what they do with him at this point. But I think he's the biggest question mark. I think the other two will be brought back.
A.J. Reilly: I don't think he, is eligible to get franchised. He's still gotta have.
Eric Vincent: He's got one year left.
A.J. Reilly: He was drafted the last year of Bob Quinn's.
Eric Vincent: That's true.
A.J. Reilly: Like next year would be the fourth year of his rookie contract.
Eric Vincent: Yeah. I don't think he'll be a cap casualty then at that point. No, I think they, they'll keep him around.
A.J. Reilly: According to spot rack. Yeah. He's an unrestricted free agent in 2025 unless they pick up his fifth-year option.
Eric Vincent: Okay. Got you. So he's still got some time then. Yeah.
A.J. Reilly: Yeah. And I think only first-round picks have a fifth-year option. I don't believe Swift as a second-round pick has a fifth-year option availability.
Now. Now, what do you do with him? Well, I can tell you this, this off-season. If you're thinking, hey, we can trade him. The return that you get. Oh, doc, you took the words right out of my mouth, but, the return that you get for a Swift is not going to be what you assume the value would be. Does that make sense?
Eric Vincent: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm, I hear you.
A.J. Reilly: So you have to weigh, like, if I'm only offered a fourth-round pick for D'Andre Swift, is that value of the pick more than what he can offer us on the field?
Eric Vincent: I don't think so.
A.J. Reilly: No.
Eric Vincent: I don't think so. No.
A.J. Reilly: If you don't get offered higher than a third draw, pick third.
Eric Vincent: I was gonna say four, but Okay.
A.J. Reilly: Well, I just said four, you said that wouldn't work.
Eric Vincent: No, I thought you said fifth. I'm sorry. No. Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
A.J. Reilly: I said fourth.
Eric Vincent: Okay, cool. Yeah. Fourth or higher? We're on the same page. Cool.
A.J. Reilly: Yeah, I'm saying like if it's not a second or third round, pick the value's not there.
Eric Vincent: Okay.
A.J. Reilly: Yes, he struggles to stay healthy. I'm a hundred percent there. Like, I get it. But when he is healthy, he has that element out of the backfield. I mean, you look at that fourth-quarter drive, right When they killed three minutes and 17 seconds off the clock, they ran the ball with Jamaal. They swung the ball out to Swift, they ran the ball with Jamaal, they ran the ball with Jamaal, they swung the ball out to Swift.
He was our second-leading receiver last, last night. Yep. And the only reason he wasn't our leading receiver is that Kalif Raymond had a 43-yard near touchdown. Right. 43 of Kalif Raymond's 66 yards came on one play.
Eric Vincent: Came off that bomb. Yeah.
A.J. Reilly: You know what I'm saying?
Eric Vincent: Yeah.
A.J. Reilly: So, Swift I think is gonna be around.
Eric Vincent: Yep.
A.J. Reilly: And I think he's gonna challenge for that number one spot again. Like Jamaal clearly should have been our number one running back this year.
Eric Vincent: Mm-hmm.
A.J. Reilly: like he, he earned that job. Yeah. Jamaal, you have to resign.
Eric Vincent: You have to.
A.J. Reilly: But, you also have to resign him at a good value. Yeah. You cannot overpay to keep Jamaal. I love Jamaal. He's my favorite Detroit Lion. I literally, the other night, I think it was Friday night, I sat down in my office here and watched as many YouTube interviews with Jamaal Williams as I could find. Like I love the dude. Okay. Yeah. But I'm not overpaying for the dude.
Eric Vincent: Two years. I give him tops.
A.J. Reilly: Yeah. And not much more.
Eric Vincent: Yeah. No, you can't do that.
A.J. Reilly: Because you rarely should ever give a running back their second contract. Right. It sucks. It's the nature of the business. It is, but it sucks. But if I'm Brad Holmes, I'm making a plane saying, okay, Jamaal, two more years. I can give you two more years. That's what I can give you, let's continue what we've been doing.
I think Jamaal takes that. I think he likes Detroit. I can't see there being a team out there going, Hey, we're gonna give you a five-year contract.
Eric Vincent: No, I don't see that.
A.J. Reilly: Because he's already in his, I think this is his fifth season. I could spell his name right. Chark. I don't care about Chark.
He can go, he can stay. I don't care.
Eric Vincent: That's fair.
A.J. Reilly: No, he has six years. He's 27 years old. He's not getting more than two contracts. In fact, he's about to turn 28 years old. He may only get a one-year contract.
Eric Vincent: Yeah. Yeah.
A.J. Reilly: You rarely sign running backs when there's 30 years old.
Eric Vincent: Become a cap hit the second year if they give 'em two. Yeah. I can see that.
A.J. Reilly: Yeah, I can't answer this cuz I don't know. I haven't really looked at the free agency that's available.
Eric Vincent: We're gonna get into that, don't worry. We'll definitely break that down.
A.J. Reilly: We will, yeah. Over this off-season, we will look at the free agent list and there's a lot more Beyond the Box. There's a lot more Beyond the Box than there is football throughout the year. So.
Eric Vincent: And this is gonna be. It's gonna be fun to do it this time. Like any other Detroit Lions' year, you were doing this breakdown in November of the season, we're doing this now with extra resources, so this is gonna be a fun breakdown for the off-season.
Y'all don't go anywhere. Stick with us here. It's gonna be a good time with the off-season.
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