Now let’s turn the page to the present. The Detroit Lions fan base is very optimistic about their defense. After having added former Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers and rookie fourth-round pick Austin Bryant from Clemson, the defensive line looks like it could be a strength.
Meanwhile, the signings of cornerbacks Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin combined with fifth-round pick Amani Oruwariye and third-round selection safety Will Harris has made the secondary better as well.
If second-round pick Jahlani Tavai from Hawaii can live up to his draft position, this could become the offseason that allows the defense to vault into elite status.
But there is one question that has many Lions fans worried; is ‘Snacks’ unhappy and if so will this cause a problem in the locker room?
After all he contributed to the Lions defense last season, ‘Snacks’ and his agent Drew Rosenhaus have approached Bob Quinn about a contract extension. Currently, Harrison has two years left on his deal at age 30.
At the end of March Quinn acknowledged Harrison’s desire to get an extension but called it a low priority at that time because of preparation for the draft. Quinn said it was something they could address in ‘May or June’. That means there should at least be some preliminary talks going on between Quinn and Rosenhaus right now.
So the real question is; what will it take to make ‘Snacks’ happy? Harrison will be 32 at the end of his current contract and while he could certainly be productive beyond that, there does come a point that age causes talent and ability to suddenly fall off the table.
With that in mind, I would suspect that the Lions would be interested in a one or two-year extension. So will Harrison be happy with that or is he fishing for three or four years?
The NFL is a game of inches and quite frankly it’s just about the same with contract negotiations. Players often want guaranteed deals or many years on a contract for security. Meanwhile, management has the obligation to be fiscally responsible to create a friendly salary cap which allows the flexibility to make roster moves to improve their team.
Which means if the Lions cannot come to an agreement that they find reasonable, they may not get a new deal in place.