Not one but two Detroit Lions free agents are on a list of free agents other teams should target this offseason.
The Detroit Lions have prioritized re-signing their own free agents in the first two offseasons under general manager Brad Holmes. That is lined up to remain somewhat the case this offseason too, but it’s also safe to say they have some free agents who will garner plenty of interest from other teams.
It’s possible, despite widespread desire from guys who want to re-sign, the Lions will be priced out of the market for some or they’ll eye upgrades and let some free agents leave with little resistance.
Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports is out with a list spotlighting one free agent each NFL team should prioritize this offseason. Two Lions free agents make the list, but are they who you expect?
2 Detroit Lions free agents named as top targets for other teams
For the Baltimore Ravens, Dajani has wide receiver DJ Chark as the free agent they should prioritize.
"At 6-foot-4, 200-something pounds, I think Chark is the outside receiving threat the Ravens need. He didn’t have a great season with the Detroit Lions, catching just 30 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns while missing six games, but he did string together a few impressive performances. It’s no secret that the Ravens need to add at wide receiver, and it won’t break the bank to add Chark — who could finally reach his potential with Lamar Jackson (if he stays)."
Chark has said he wants to re-sign with the Lions, but a dearth of good free agent wide receivers stands to drive his market upward all-around (teams interested, years and money in his next deal).
Dajani then spotlighted offensive lineman Evan Brown as a free agent match for the Los Angeles Chargers.
"The Chargers had major problems along the offensive line in 2022. While they were due to injury, there’s no doubt L.A. needs to add depth — and maybe a new left guard. That could come in the form of Brown, who started in 12 of 14 games played for the Lions last year. He’s played center and guard, and is set to sign a solid contract after bouncing around for a few years."
Brown’s versatility will make him an appealing free agent for a lot of teams. He capably started 12 games at center in place of an injured Frank Ragnow for the Lions in 2021, then this season he played a lot of guard (mainly right guard in the absence of Halapoulivaati Vaitai) .
Oh, and the free agent the Lions should priioritize? Eagles safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who we mentioned here for conference title game weekend.
"While the Eagles surely want to hold onto CJGJ, I got excited thinking about him teaming up with Dan Campbell and the Lions. Detroit’s offseason is going to be centered around adding on defense, and signing a versatile chess piece that roams the secondary would be perfect for the Lions. The former Saint recorded a league-high six interceptions for the Eagles in 2022."
Losing Chark and Brown wouldn’t be great news for the Lions, but adding Gardner-Johnson would be an against the previous grain move that can easily be gotten behind.