The Detroit Lions cut defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison. Here are some options in free agency and the draft that could solve the newly dire need.
On Thursday, the Detroit Lions made the decision to part ways with aging defensive tackle Damon Harrison. This news comes as a bit of a surprise as the position was already a need. Now, defensive tackle is closer to the top of the list with this move.
While there was some surprise with the move, it does make some sense when you look closer at the details. The Lions will save $6.72 million in cap space for 2019 with the move, taking their 2020 cap space to around $53.8 million according to Lions Wire writer Erik Schlitt.
Schlitt makes another interesting point when he answered a question about current cornerback Darius Slay. Slay wants to be paid about $16 million per year. With the newly acquired money from cutting Harrison, the Lions could have just found a way to do so without having to dip into the amount of salary cap space they expected to have in the offseason.
However, despite the possibilities created by the new cap space, the Lions now find themselves in desperate need of both a starting nose guard and quality depth behind him. The Lions have an interesting person already on the roster in Kevin Strong, but he is purely solid depth at best at this point in his career.
The Lions will likely need to draft a defensive tackle in the 2020 NFL draft and sign one or more in free agency. There are many options in free agency that are attractive options and the same goes for the draft. If the Lions want a do-it-all type of defensive tackle then they will likely need to take one in the first round, maybe the second round at the latest.
As for free agency, there are a few options who could have a solid impact, but really only one that could be a game-changer. Looking at the situation more in-depth, here are three options for the Lions to pursue in free agency and three options for them to select in the draft.