3. Sign safety Vonn Bell
The second free agent signing for the Lions defense should be Bell, who has played for the Cincinnati Bengals for the past three seasons and was worth every penny of the contract they gave him. Kerby Joseph looks like a keeper for the Lions at safety, but DeShon Elliott is a free agent and Tracy Walker’s status for the start of next season is a question mark as he works his way back from a torn Achilles.
Pairing Joseph with Bell would give the Lions a mix of youth and experience to help secure the back end of the defense. Bell is known for being good against tight ends, and the Lions were a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to giving up yards to tight ends this season (17th).
Bell got $6 million per year on his last deal, and he may command a little more this offseason. But with Joseph on a rookie contract, the Lions could afford to give him that raise.
4. Sign defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones
The last piece of this puzzle would be to sign defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones. He is not a name many people know as he did not get a lot of attention nationally, but he was a terror on the inside for the Broncos before injuring his hip in Week 14 this season. He was top five in pressures among defensive tackles, and he also had 6.5 sacks in his 13 games.
The Lions have Alim McNeill as a emerging player on the inside, but adding Jones to the defensive line would look pretty good
The defense came along strongly toward the end of the season, and not coincidentally the Lions won a lot of games. With these four moves, the difference between being in the playoff hunt and becoming a true top contender could be filled.