With training camp about two weeks away, the Detroit Lions are preparing to build on a season that saw them go 11-5 with a playoff berth. Barring injuries it is unlikely the team will make any big moves before the season begins, but should that be the case or should they consider taking a chance on a big name free agent?
In 2014, the Lions biggest weakness was the offense and that’s something which must improve if they want to contend again in 2015. Last season the offense ranked 19th in the league in yards per game and 22nd in the league in points per game. One of the biggest weaknesses currently on the offense is the slot receiver, a position the Lions could improve by taking a chance on one of two veteran free agents. Those free agents are Wes Welker and Reggie Wayne.
Welker, 34, is without a doubt an injury risk for any team that would roll the dice on him. That being said, he is a veteran and could potentially be a huge asset to Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense. If the Lions were willing to take a chance on Welker, he could prove to become a leader on the offense while mentoring a couple of the younger receivers for the future. The downfall is obviously that Welker is extremely injury prone and the chances of him playing a full season are about as close to zero as one can get.
Wayne, 36, has made it clear that he wants to play one more season in the NFL and that teams have contacted him about his services. Are the Lions one of the teams that has shown interest? Only time will tell, but I think it would be a huge mistake to not consider him. Wayne is a great locker room guy and could make an impact on a team that already has weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Like Welker, Wayne is also a big injury risk, but the reward could outweigh the risk in this case. Another plus is that Wayne likely will not demand much money at this point in his career.
So, the Lions clearly need to improve on the offensive side of the ball in 2015, there is no question about that. One of their weaknesses is the slot receiver position and Wes Welker and Reggie Wayne are there for the taking. If Martin Mayhew does not at least consider bringing one of those guys in for training camp I think it would be a mistake.