As the Detroit Lions perhaps still look to fill holes in free agency, could a defensive lineman who nearly landed with a division rival be a bargain to target?
Not that it’s the wrong approach, but the Detroit Lions have been conservative in free agency with only a few signings outside the organization. Anyone who is signed at this point is for depth more than big impact, but there could still be opportunities to consider.
Mike Kaye of Pro Football Network has offered a potential bargain free agent signing for each NFL team. For the Lions, it’s a defensive lineman.
"Detroit Lions: DT Larry Ogunjobi. The Bears failed Ogunjobi during his physical last month, wiping out a massive Day 1 free agent deal in the process. The Lions could benefit from that mishap by signing Ogunjobi to a one-year “prove it” deal, beefing up their line in the process."
As Kaye wrote, Ogunjobi had a deal done (reportedly three years, $40.5 million) with the Chicago Bears before he failed a physical. The exact issue was not disclosed, as expected, but it was significant enough for the Bears’ medical staff not to sign off on adding him.
Could the Lions swoop in and get Larry Ogunjobi at a discount?
Ogunjobi spent the 2021 season with the Cincinnati Bengals, with career-highs in sacks (seven), tackles for loss (12) and quarterback hits (16) over 16 regular season games. From 2018-2020, he started 46 games for the Cleveland Browns.
Despite the failed physical, he sits on the updated top-101 free agents list from NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal at No. 93.
"Ogunjobi is that guy who gives up a lot while searching for his own splash plays, one reason he could be on his third team in as many years.”"
The Lions have a couple promising young defensive line pieces in Alim McNeill and Levi Onwuzurike, and a name-brand veteran who appears to have his best days behind him in Michael Brockers. Another young guy may come via the draft.
Perhaps in more of a situational role, rather than the level of snaps he has played in recent years, Ogunjobi could a nice fit as a disruptor for the Lions’ defensive line. A failed physical is always a red flag, even acknowledging differences in medical staffs, but at the right price (and the right time) Ogunjobi could end up being a Lion.