ESPN's 'audacious strategy' for the Detroit Lions could be wild enough to materialize

ESPN’s ‘audacious strategy’ for the Detroit Lions could be wild enough to materialize

The Detroit Lions have ample salary cap space as free agency looms, a top-10 number in the league without having to do much. The question is how those dollars will be allocated, in terms or re-signing people and making moves to add people from the outside in free agency or trades.

General manager Brad Holmes was fairly close to the vest in an appearance on 97.1 The Ticket Monday morning, but a small piece of what he said was interesting.

“Do you want to externally say, ‘Well, we can get another depth player here on external add’? Or do you want to say, ‘Well, we had these handful of players that we were looking to add from an external standpoint? Now that we have this much more available then maybe we can get a bigger fish?’”

Holmes did not come close to saying a big move is coming, and he never would. But even a sliver of a notion about adding a “bigger fish” is enough to garner some interest in there being a calculated shift in Holmes’ general mode.

Any player the Lions would consider an “all-in” move for would have to be a culture fit, just as much as a talent fit to fill an area of need.

In his column suggesting bold offseason moves for all 32 NFL teams, ESPN’s Aaron Schatz had a pretty big one for the Lions.

Signing Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones.

Here’s what Schatz wrote.

“The Lions are in great position this offseason as a division champion that also has cap space to improve. As a result the Lions will probably be tied to every major free agent who’s available, especially on defense,” There will be talk about a lot of veterans joining the Lions to try to break the curse and get them to the Super Bowl. But the best choice would be a player who already has won three of them: Jones of the Chiefs.”

“The Lions could sign Jones and plug him right in as the 3-technique tackle with Levi Onwuzurike coming off the bench, “Jones played a very high 73% of snaps in games where he was active last season, but everybody needs a breather every so often.”

Jones of course will not come cheap, and if the Chiefs don’t retain him he’ll have a lot of suitors. But the Lions can clear significantly more money with a couple pretty easy moves. And as mentioned previously, they have the general manager who drafted Jones to Kansas City working in their front office (John Dorsey).

What’s the percentage chance the Lions sign Chris Jones? Small. But it’s not zero either. This “bold move” might just be bold and crazy enough to actually happen.

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