2017-Top Free Agents For Detroit To Focus On

Sep 25, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Going into the 2017 offseason means that NFL teams have a whole bunch of shiny new things to look at. Detroit has several top free agents to consider

This season will see the end of several relationships that gives teams big opportunities. Franchises have to weigh their needs to see what they can afford and what they can’t afford to lose. The top free agents Detroit should focus on this offseason will depend on several factors. But a couple of things weigh heavily on determining where they should look. First, who can they fit into their system. And second, who can they afford to fit into their budget. 2016 saw a huge call for beefier defense, and the Lions can win big in free agency this year. Here are some of the guys from the NFL’s top 25 list that are worth the price tags they’ll likely garner.

Related Story: NFL's Top 25 Free Agents

Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones has performed well despite his parting with the Patriots last offseason. He fit into the defensive scheme of the Cardinals as well as he could anywhere. If Arizona doesn’t decide to sign him to a healthy deal,  he might find a good spot in Detroit. He’s versatile, which the Lions need, and he learns quickly.

Melvin Ingram

Melvin Ingram quietly snuck in big plays for the Chargers this year, so he’ll be a huge playmaker if they decide to franchise-tag him. If the tag isn’t used, this is a man who could ask for a lot of money and get it somewhere other than LA. It would be a worthwhile paycheck for Detroit to sign.

Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell is a monster, both physically and strategically. The man is lean and stands 6’8″, and he fits himself into places that a man his size shouldn’t. He could be the veteran presence that Detroit needs. Since Arizona is unlikely to let both Campbell and Chandler Jones go, Detroit could capitalize on a huge Cardinals’ loss, either from Campbell or Jones.

Brandon Williams

Baltimore this season saw Williams as a key to stopping the run. He was an underrated player but should be highly sought after if the Ravens decide to let him seek other options. The question remains as to whether he and Baltimore will part ways.

Dont’a Hightower

Hightower was an important presence behind the Patriots’ line this year, but if they don’t win this Sunday, we can expect some departures from New England in the offseason, voluntarily or not. The Patriots aren’t afraid to make earth-shaking changes to their roster in the offseason. Middle Linebacker is going to be a sought-after position across the league so if Hightower decides to make a move, he’s going to be picked up quickly. It’s worth it to Detroit to have the conversation with Hightower.

Dontari Poe

If anyone from Kansas City stays, it’s Eric Berry unless he decides that there’s better money to be made elsewhere. This means that Dontari Poe will be primed for a new home to call his own. His numbers have dropped a bit over the last few seasons, but that’s likely due to the beefed up defense that KC has put together. Poe was good for some trick plays and had decent stats, so he could be a welcome change for the Lions.

Jason Pierre-Paul

This man can still be a game-changer. He played as well with only 9 fingers this year as many did with all ten. He had a huge 2011 season, and peaked again in the 2014 season. So if history repeats, he’s due for big things. He’s a good veteran voice on the field that could add some much-needed depth to Detroit’s pass rush. Here are some highlights from the Bears game week 11. He left Jay Cutler with nightmares that had the number 90 tattooed on them.

Detroit can have a major offseason with the right moves

This is just a snapshot of the free agents on the market this spring,. There may be many more options on Detroit’s plate. There are several jumping-off points here for Quinn and Caldwell that can fill a need that might not be available in the draft. One of the things the Lions sorely need is experience. They can find it in free agency and focus on other places in the draft.

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