The first event of the NFL offseason is underway as the NFL Combine began on Friday; at least football fans have something to watch now. Anyways, let’s see what’s been going on with the Lions this past week.
Lions Moving on from James Ihedigbo
The Lions informed safety James Ihedigbo that he will not be back with the team in 2016.
The Lions signed Ihedigbo back in 2014 and he made a nice tandem with safety Glover Quin in the secondary, but in 2015, Ihedigbo had become a liability and the Lions decided to bench him in favour of Isa Abdul-Quddus. In his 2 seasons with Detroit, Ihedigbo started 21 games, had 134 tackles, and 5 interceptions.
Both Abdul-Quddus and Ihedigbo are set to become free agents, but it’s likely that the Lions re-sign Abdul-Quddus and he is expected to takeover the starting role opposite Glover Quin. Ihedigbo is turning 33 this year, so it’s no surprise that the Lions are going with a younger player in Abdul-Quddus who is only 26 years old.
Lions will Retain Riley Reiff
Bob Quinn announced that Riley Reiff will be back with the team in 2016.
Even though Reiff will be back next year, it’s not known where he will line up. Reiff has been the Lions’ starting left tackle for the past 3 seasons, but depending on what Detroit does in free agency and the draft, that is likely to change. Reiff was drafted as a guard back in 2012 and the Lions decided to move him to tackle once Jeff Backus retired.
Reiff has held his own over the last 3 seasons, but has struggled at times. If the Lions draft a tackle in the first round or pick one up via free agency, Reiff is expected to slide to the right side of the line where the Lions struggled the most in 2015.
Lions will have Around $30M in Cap Space this Offseason
The Lions will have over $30M in cap space to work with during the offeason.
The Lions will be able to splash some cash in free agency this year. If Calvin Johnson decides to retire, Detroit would add another $10M in cap space. Some players still need to be re-signed and enough money has to be available to sign draft picks, but the Lions should have plenty of cap space left to get of few key players in free agency. With a few cuts still expected, Detroit could create even more cap space over the next week.