The Detroit Lions reportedly will not tender a contract to restricted free agent Ashlee Palmer. The move is somewhat surprising since Palmer was a decent special teams contributor and fellow outside linebacker Bobby Carpenter will be an unrestricted free agent.
However, the move does not necessarily mean Palmer will not be back with the Lions. Should Palmer not find the gig he’s looking for elsewhere and the Lions find themselves with a need at outside linebacker, they could turn to Palmer as a player they already have familiarity with. This is the situation that played out with Kevin Smith last year.
Not tendering a contract to Ashlee Palmer also sets up Doug Hogue for a bump up the depth chart. Little was seen of him on the field after being drafted in the fifth round last April but contributed on special teams and is a player the team seems to view quite highly. Not tendering a contract to Palmer can be viewed as a vote of confidence for Hogue.
This is just one step in what will be a multi-step process of filling out the Lions’ linebacker corps. Stephen Tulloch needs a new deal and DeAndre Levy is a restricted free agent. Even if the team looks at Hogue as the primary backup at outside linebacker, that still leaves room for depth to fill out the roster.