The Lions appear to be on a quest to keep Matthew Stafford upright for a second consecutive season.
It’s been assumed–yet far from validated–that Jeff Backus will be back in Detroit. Regardless of this, the Lions don’t appear to be sitting idly in addressing the offense line. The Lions first free agent visit scheduled was from guard Geoff Schwartz formally of the Carolina Panthers and it appears their third overall free agent visit–49ers KR/WR Tedd Ginn Jr. will be here as well–is perhaps the biggest name of any free agent attached to the Lions thus far. Right Tackle Eric Winston of the Texans has a visit scheduled with Detroit according to Anwar Richardson of mlive.com. Winston has been a durable fixture on the offensive line for one of the leagues best rushing attacks before being cut by the Texans for cap issues earlier this week.
The good news is that Winston is visiting Detroit, however–per Richardson–the bad news is that he has at least three other visits schedules, with the Rams, Chiefs and Ravens.
Additionally, Profootballtalk.com is reporting that Marcus McNeill–formerly of the Chargers–will also visit Detroit. McNeill is more of a true left tackle and if healthy could give the offensive line a big lift. If McNeill doesn’t leave town Friday without a contract then the legions of Backus haters in Southeast Michigan might finally get their wish. A new starting left tackle.
Whether or not the Lions are targeting both Winston or McNeill or simply one or the other would tell a whole lot about their plans, namely if they’re looking to replace Jeff Backus or also upgrade Gosder Cherilus. Unfortunately we’ll likely never find out with how close to the vest the Lions administration keeps their plans.