We attempt to answer the three biggest offseason questions the Detroit Lions must answer facing a critical year with the future of their franchise at stake.
The Detroit Lions are facing some critical offseason questions they must find an answer for. With the expectation that the Lions will turn their 3-12-1 team into a playoff contender in 2020 set by owner Martha Firestone Ford, the future of the current regime in the Motor City is apparently on the line.
Below, we’ve conjured up what we believe to be the three biggest offseason questions surrounding the Lions at this time. And we’ve tried our level best to predict the answers to those questions, although only time will tell if our predictions are right.
1. What will the Detroit Lions do with their first-round pick?
Owning the third overall selection, the Lions have several options. Yet, Detroit could simply do nothing and possibly land the draft’s top player if Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young falls to them. Detroit could also opt to secure their most valuable position for the future and select Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
But what’s our prediction? The Miami Dolphins have been angling to land Tagovailoa for quite some time now, stockpiling draft selections in apparent effort to jumpstart their rebuild. We see the Lions trading back from the third overall pick to the fifth, trading down with the Dolphins. With their new selection, Detroit drafts Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, if available.
2. Will Darius Slay remain in the Motor City?
Despite having one year remaining on his current deal, the Lions and cornerback Darius Slay were reportedly discussing a new contract for the three-time Pro Bowler. The possibility of trading Slay was also confirmed as an option.
But in the end, you don’t turn a 3-12-1 team into a playoff contender by trading away your best players. We predict the Lions will sign Slay to a new deal as losing him could send an already suspect passing defense that allowed the most yards in the NFL last season (4,551) spiraling even further.
3. Will the Lions prepare for a future without Matthew Stafford?
Coming off a season where quarterback Matthew Stafford played just eight games due to injury, there are major concerns about the durability of the 32-year old passer entering his 12th season in the NFL. And there’s been speculation that the Lions could choose to use their first-round selection to secure the position and possibly even trade away Stafford.
Yet, the Detroit Lions’ current regime isn’t looking to rebuild … but to remain. They’ve been tasked with orchestrating a monumental turnaround. In order to make that happen, general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia will need a healthy Stafford under center. Although there will come a time when the Lions will need to secure the future of their quarterback position, 2020 isn’t it. We believe it’s Stafford or bust for Detroit and its staff this season.