There are multiple reasons to be excited when looking ahead to the 2011 season for the Detroit Lions. There is a massive hurdle that might prevent the playing of the season and that is the potential lockout of the players by the owners. The union and the owners need to get together and get this thing figured out.
There is also the 2011 NFL draft, usually the Super Bowl for the Detroit Lions. Optimism and excitement are plenty for us Lions fans during the draft. There is, of course, more to be excited about because Matt Millen is no longer selecting players for this team. There is free agency which will be very different this year with the uncertainty of the CBA. Some players don’t know whether they will be free agents or not. As time passes, the idea of free agency is going to get more complicated.
It is only January but there is one move that the Lions could (and should) make as soon as possible. The 2010 edition of the Detroit Lions was interesting in multiple ways. The defensive line was dominant and the Lions need it to stay there heading into 2011. There has to be concern over the neck injury suffered by Kyle Vanden Bosch. The Lions need to preempt a potential problem and bring in a player that will help the defensive line stay dominant.
With that being said, it is my opinion that Albert Hanyesworth would be the perfect addition to the Detroit Lions at this point. His contract terms are effectively for 3 more years and for a total of 16 million dollars. That’s a very inexpensive price tag for a player who has the potential to be dominant. His price tag should be no more than a 3rd round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Haynesworth can obviously play inside but he can play a little defensive end also. He would make the interior defensive line rotation much better than it was this year and he would take pressure off of Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams, both of whom will have an unreal amount of expectation heaped on them for next year.
Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch would benefit also because the interior of the line, with the addition of Haynesworth, would command double teams more than they did this year. The strengthening of the interior line would also make it easier to sign a big profile linebacker. Who would not want to play behind that defensive line? There also is the idea that the Lions goal line and short yardage defense would be the best in the business.
All in all this move would be a smart move as the cost is so inexpensive that if any issues were to arise, the Lions could just cut Haynesworth and all they would be out is a middle of the road draft pick. The benefit of such a move could be very significant as demonstrated above and I believe it is a move that the Detroit Lions need to make now.