Ranking Detroit Lions free agent replacement options for Tracy Walker

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images /

2. Quandre Diggs

One of the veteran players cast off by Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, the idea of Diggs coming back to Detroit gained some buzz with the Lions’ Week 17 visit to Seattle and Diggs’ comments to Penei Sewell after the game expressing admiration for the city. He has now played out the extension the Lions gave him in 2018.

Diggs is 29 years old, but he proved he’s plenty capable with 10 interceptions over two full seasons with the Seahawks. He suffered a broken fibula in Week 18 though, with a 4-5 month recovery time just in time to hit the open market. But that may lower his price point more easily right into the Lions’ wheelhouse, to replace or maybe even pair with Walker.

1.  Duron Harmon

The Matt Patricia/Bob Quinn regime brought Harmon to the Lions from the Patriots (naturally) via trade in 2020, and upon hitting the open market last offseason he landed with the Atlanta Falcons. His Pro Football Focus grade was not good this year (59.1), which provides a chicken or egg scenario given how bad Atlanta’s defense was.

Harmon is a versatile safety, capable in deep coverage and able to practically function as an extra linebacker in run support. About halfway through his one season with the Lions he was the fourth-highest graded safety in the NFL by Pro Football Focus–and it’s not as if that defense was any good.

Harmon will turn 31 soon (literally one day from now as I write this). But that just means it won’t take a long or especially expensive deal to sign him, and his leadership intangibles will surely appeal to Lions head coach Dan Campbell. In case Walker has to be outright replaced, Harmon may already be on the radar as an option.

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