5 free agents the Detroit Lions should be glad they didn’t sign

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Credit: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images /
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Detroit Lions, 2022 NFL Free Agency, Marcus Williams
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3. S Marcus Williams (Baltimore Ravens–five years, $70 million)

With the New Orleans tie to defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn (the Saints defensive backs coach from 2016-2020) and head coach Dan Campbell and adding the Lions need at safety, it was easy to tab Williams as a fit for Detroit and a prominent free agent target. It seems certain they explored signing him, independent of re-signing Walker off a rebound season last year.

The idea of signing Williams, one of the top free agent safeties this year, was always going to come down to cost–for the Lions and several other teams. The Ravens clearly poneyed up, as they continue a long history of placing a premium on the safety position (Ed Reed, Eric Weddle, etc.). Other teams with interest (Lions, Jets, etc.) were going to have a tough time competing as Baltimore drove the price up and usurped them like they did.

The Lions decided to reward one of their own in Walker, and a pivot to lower-end free agent safeties or the draft to fill the void quickly appeared most likely. Going all-in for Williams would have limited the ability to do much else, no matter what we think of all the re-signings the Lions have made from a three-win team. It’s not a knock on his talent, but the Lions should be happy they didn’t feel tempted to overpay for Williams.