Detroit Lions: A quick free agency primer for 2020

Marvin Hall, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Marvin Hall, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

A list of everything to know before the Detroit Lions enter free agency in the next few days. A look at cap space, players, and a few notes.

Free agency is slated to start on March 16th, with the Detroit Lions‘ front office is heading into a make or break season. Before diving in head first, here are some of the important topics to know.

Let’s start with salary cap space. According to Sportrac, the Lions will have an estimated $46.8 million in cap space to use on current free agents. Of course, draft capital has to be factored into that number. The draft pool cap for Detroit is set at $10.9 million.

Doing some quick math, that allows general manager Bob Quinn to use roughly $35.9 million during free agency. There are also potential cap causalities, but they will be mentioned later in this list. This cap number might change, but for now, this is where it stands approximately.

Pending Free Agents

The Detroit Lions have a total of 17 pending free agents. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported that there is a chance that right guard Graham Glasgow and punter Sam Martin won’t be back next season. Despite that, there are some names to pay attention to.

Keep tabs with defensive tackles, Mike Daniels and A’Shawn Robinson. As well as safeties Tavon Wilson and Miles Killebrew. Also, cornerback Rashaan Melvin could be brought back on another one-year deal.

Offensively, backup quarterback Jeff Driskel is expected to have a strong market. Mutual interest between running back J.D. McKissic and the Lions could be present with good play this previous season. Right guard Oday Aboushi provides depth on the bench.

Current Depth Chart

It would be useful to familiarize yourself with the current depth chart. All of these players are under contract for next season. Keep in mind the below chart is my own personal view of how each player is placed on the depth chart.

Potential Cap Casualties

If you don’t already know, cap casualties are players who might be released to free up cap space. They are usually players who have large contracts and are not living up to that said contract. The Lions have two players who could end up as cap casualties.

Right tackle Rick Wagner is the first candidate. If the Lions move on from Wagner and release him, they will save $6.1 million in cap space according to Over the Cap. Wagner’s play hasn’t been the sharpest, and an upgrade is a plausible option.

Hybrid linebacker Devon Kennard would save $5.4 million if he were released. The Lions front-seven proved to be a weakness, and a re-make isn’t out of the question.

There are a few others, but it’s highly unlikely that they would be cut from the team. Cornerback Darius Slay, left tackle Taylor Decker, and linebacker Jarrad Davis would all save money. Although they shouldn’t be cut from the squad.

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Temper expectations as I expect the Detroit Lions will struggle to bring in premier free agents this offseason. There may be more low-risk/high-reward signings than usual. The Lions should be looking for more value, as well.