The Detroit Lions’ interest in retaining Louis Delmas is obvious. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have brought him to town for a medical check yesterday and a report from NFL.com’s Albert Breer said that Delmas has an offer on the table from the team.
The question is, how strong is that offer and how much interest will there be on the open market?
MLive’s Anwar Richardson indicates today that the level of interest is high from the Lions and others:
Delmas has the high interest of several NFL teams, including Detroit, right now. He is not allowed to sign a contract until Tuesday, but it appears Delmas will have plenty of options in free agency.
Delmas has indicated a desire to stay with the Lions, characterizing Michigan as home after spending the last eight years between Western Michigan University and the Lions. But with knee problems and a spotty injury history, the contract he signs this offseason very likely will be the biggest he ever signs. That being the case, don’t expect a hometown discount, or at least one that is very big.
It’s likely the Lions have a number in mind that they are willing to pay and will either meet the demand for Delmas as it develops or let him walk. It seems the situation is similar to the way they are approaching Cliff Avril, but with a higher likelihood that Delmas stays with the Lions. Pass rushers always command a premium in free agency whereas safety, while a position of increasing importance, is not valued as highly, especially in a year with a solid group of safety prospects available through the draft.