Anzalone missed the final three games of the season with a shoulder injury (and he practically missed five games, as he missed most of Week 14 with another injury and most of Week 15 with the shoulder issue). But he played basically every snap before that, and he still finished as the Lions’ fourth-leading tackler (78 total) with one sack and seven pass breakups (tied for second-most on the team).
Anzalone followed defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn from New Orleans to Detroit last offseason, signing a one-year deal with the Lions (surely with some insight from Glenn) after four seasons (20 starts) with the Saints. He’s a solid all-around player (74.4 passer rating in his coverage this year), but missed tackles happened too often this season (15 missed tackles and a 16.1 percent missed tackle rate, according to Pro Football Reference).
Looking at pure upside, Anzalone can be easily replaced, perhaps with a Day 1 or Day 2 draft pick. But absent a multi-year offer or two from elsewhere that he can’t turn down, which don’t seem likely to come, a return to the Lions feels like the most likely scenario.
5 potential landing spots for Anzalone: Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars