Will Detroit Lions make a defensive splash in free agency?

Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images /

The Detroit Lions are set to lose defensive end Ziggy Ansah, so will the team make a splash in free agency by signing his replacement?

We’re less than two months away from the start of free agency, but the Detroit Lions are surely looking over their roster and making a list of players to target. One notable hole on the roster will be the position vacated by fading star defensive end Ziggy Ansah.

While Ansah has been very talented and made some big impact plays for the Lions, he hasn’t managed to stay healthy. Head coach Matt Patricia was able to for his own defense around Ansah, but after playing on the expensive franchise tag for the season, it would be surprising if the 30-year-old is retained.

To fill the gap, the Lions could make a splash in Free Agency by going with younger, familiar faces at the position. Barring the Houston Texans letting Jadeveon Clowney go without using the franchise tag, Dallas Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence is probably the hottest name on the free agent list at the position. While he would certainly make a splash, this team might look elsewhere to spend their money.

Starting in-house by retaining restricted free agent, 24-year-old Romeo Okwara would be ideal. With 7.5 sacks in 2018, he’s got the talent to make an impact for the Lions next season. Following this move with a larger signing would have a great impact.

A name to watch – and one that wouldn’t surprise anyone – would be New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers. The 25-year-old also notched 7.5 sacks in 2018. He’s someone Patricia is familiar with from his time with the Patriots and could certainly use in his defensive scheme. While it may not be the biggest splash, it could work out as a very effective move.

Locking up these two players would be a good start to the offseason for the Honolulu Blue. They could then look to the draft for additional defensive support either at linebacker or defensive end, or maybe a hybrid that Patricia seems to like.

Not only would this move in free agency help keep a consistent pass rush, but it would also check a box that would allow the team to focus on other needs during the draft. While many fans still have a sour taste in their mouth from using a first round pick on tight end Eric Ebron, that position might become the team’s largest need.

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The Detroit Lions don’t need to take another first-round tight end. But they can maybe target one in the second or third rounds while taking the best player available in the first round. You know, since tight end isn’t the only need on this team. Time will tell, but landing Flowers would be a great move in free agency.