5 free agent cornerbacks the Detroit Lions could sign to replace Cameron Sutton

After releasing Cameron Sutton, the Lions have some solid free agent cornerback options to consider.

Ryan Kang/GettyImages
2 of 3

4. Tre Herndon

Tapping into new defensive backs coach Deshea Townsend's history, Herndon spent the last two seasons under him with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last season, in a somewhat limited role (486 snaps, four starts), he had nine pass breakups and a very good 71.4 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. In three games he started and finished in 2023 (Week 1, Week 5, Week 8), he posted three of his best PFF grades of the season (overall and coverage).

Herndon would be more of a depth piece, with 34 starts in 83 career NFL games. But he can play outside or in the slot, and he may come with an endorsement from Townsend as the Lions now mine the free agent market for cornerbacks.

3. Steven Nelson

Pro Football Focus, when there were no questions about Sutton's status on the roster, tabbed Nelson as a perfect free agent fit for the Lions. We also had him as a bargain free agent target.

As PFF noted, the Lions play a high degree of man coverage and they've graded him as a top-20 man coverage corner in each of the last three seasons (ninth in 2023). He is scheme versatile, having playing in two very different Houston Texans' defensive schemes the last two years,

The 31-year old had a career-high five interceptions (counting the playoffs) last season with the Texans. He played nearly 1,100 snaps over all 17 regular season games, with 12 pass breakups (four interceptions) and a passer rating allowed of just 73.3. He is also a capable tackler, with at least 50 total tackles in five of the last six seasons.

It's a little surprising Nelson is still available. But that just lines him up as an even more viable option after the situation with Sutton.