Over the past few days, there’s been plenty of casual debate about whether or not the Detroit Lions might be interested in former Kansas City Cheifs cornerback Brandon Flowers, and the implications of signing Flowers.
Flowers, though, may or may not fit Detroit’s scheme, and the Lions may or may not have actual interest in adding the corner depending on who you talk to. Thursday, Flowers was visiting the San Diego Chargers, in addition to having reported interest from teams like New England, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Minnesota and Atlanta.
Also on Thursday, however, a much better choice for the Lions may have become available. The Jacksonville Jaguars released defensive end Jason Babin, a 34 year-old veteran with a knack for getting to the quarterback, in the midst of a youth movement along the defensive line. Detroit, of course, could use another veteran pass rusher to help out along their line, which already features plenty of youth.
In that role, Babin could serve as the Lions’ newer version of Kyle Vanden Bosch, who was brought in to be a veteran stop gap and help mentor players such as Cliff Avril and Willie Young, doing so in an outstanding way. Babin is from Michigan, so the move could represent an intriguing homecoming near the end of a career. Locally, he played for Western Michigan University and is from Kalamazoo.
Having played for Jim Washburn after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to 2011, Babin could also find a fit in scheme in Detroit, where Washburn remains employed. Though Babin was unceremoniously released by the Eagles, Washburn was among those most vocally upset about the move when it happened.
Aside from Darryl Tapp who can also occupy space at outside linebacker, the Lions didn’t add much in the way of veteran pass rushers this offseason. They had Young subtracted by the Chicago Bears, so adding Babin could help with both depth and mentorship. All told in his career, Babin has collected 62.5 sacks and 14 forced fumbles, which are not shabby numbers, either.
With Ziggy Ansah, Devin Taylor and a young Larry Webster in the fold, the Lions might need a veteran like Babin to tie everything together. Given the fact that a few staff members could be loyal to Babin and the defensive end might want to finish his career at home, the chances of Babin joining the Lions might be greater than Flowers.