The Lions have DeAndre Levy, Josh Bynes and Kyle Van Noy under contract for next year. Stephen Tulloch will be cut before his bonus is due and Whitehead, Lewis and Copeland are free agents. There are a couple things that can happen here and it mostly depends on Denver. Broncos LBs Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall are both free agents. if Denver manages to retain both of them along with Von Miller and the rest of their Super Bowl winning roster, kudos to them. If they can’t though, maybe the Lions look at rebuilding their LB corps.
Then again, the Lions could just re-sign Tahir Whitehead and just have to worry about adding depth and special teams contributors. It’s not quite that simple, but for running a 4-3, the Lions rarely employ three linebackers. They’ve most often played nickel under Teryl Austin, employing three LBs in obvious run downs.
There are tons of other free agent linebackers available, but most of them aren’t as good as the ones discussed. Bruce Irvin or Rolando McClain? No thanks. Danny Lansanah, Mason Foster or Sean Spence? None of these names inspire.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lions add an LB in free agency, but they could also promote Van Noy to the third LB. They may also look to the Draft to add some youth here in the later rounds.