Detroit Lions: Defense will almost be unrecognizable in 2019
By Zack Moran
How head coach Matt Patricia runs his multiple front defense that relies heavily on the linebackers. The linebacker corps performance has been mixed this season. There have a few pleasant surprises with this position group, but not something the Lions can rely on going into next year. I am sure the Lions will be making quite a few upgrades coming into the offseason especially with the amount of cap space they have to spend.
As far as players go from this year, Jarrad Davis and Devon Kennard are probably the only locks to return next season. Jalen Reeves-Maybin will probably return being he is on his rookie deal, but he has underperformed and the Lions might look to upgrade if need be.
Eli Harold was brought in with a trade from the San Fransisco 49ers and he has performed way above expectations. He is on the last year of his deal, so it will be up to Detroit to re-sign him or move on.
Detroit Lions Garden Stone
Christian Jones was brought on as a free agent on a two-year deal this year and he has had mixed results. He was regarded for his coverage abilities, something the Lions linebackers were severely lacking. Unfortunately, Jones has not been that much better in that area in most games. He has been improving as of late, but if the Lions feel they can use $3,875,000 somewhere else next year, they could move on from Jones.
Kelvin Sheppard and Trevor Bates are special teams players at best and both are on one-year deals. The Lions could re-sign if they feel they bring something to the special teams unit, but if not they will more than likely move on.
Being the linebackers are a staple for Coach Patricia’s defense I could see them bringing in a highly regarded free agent this coming offseason to shore up some weak spots. Someone like Houston Texans 3-4 linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. The linebacker corps will not look as different as the secondary, but they will be quite a few changes.