5 free agents Detroit Lions should hone in on as start of league year approaches

As the new league year gets set to officially start, these five free agents should be firmly on the Detroit Lions' radar.

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The Detroit Lions have had, let's call it a calculated, start to 2024 NFL free agency. They basically sat out of the big moves on Day 1, re-signing guard Graham Glasgow right off the bat. Then came news they'd agreed to terms with edge rusher Marcus Davenport and made a trade for cornerback Carlton Davis as the day wound down.

Day 2 brought another cornerback move for the Lions, as they agreed to a deal with Amik Robertson. They also re-signed backup offensive tackle Dan Skipper, and lost (as expected) safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Left guard Jonah Jackson was the notable loss on the first day of free agency, as he agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Rams.

The league year officially starts at 4.p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon, at which point all the moves that have been reported to add players who aren't your own can be made official.

As the free agency process moves into a different phase, teams will be shifting their focus to hone in on certain needs that weren't fill in the first, most-expensive, wave of free agency during the "legal tampering" period.

As the new league year moves toward officially starting, these five free agent should now be a particular focus for the Lions.

5. S Duron Harmon

The departure of Gardner-Johnson and the release of Tracy Walker last month has thinned the Lions' depth at safety, with only Kerby Joseph, Ifeatu Melifonwu and Brandon Joseph currently under contract.

They probably aren't looking for a clear-cut starter, but an experienced depth option has to be somewhere on the docket. The bigger-named available safeties can probably be scratched for a realistic list of targets, as those kind of guys eye starting opportunities and a contract befitting that status.

Enter Harmon, who made our list of former Lions we'd like to see return. His 2023 season was not ideal, as he went from the Ravens' practice squad to the Bears' active roster and finally to the Browns by season's end as he played eight total games including the playoffs.

But with the Lions (2020), the Atlanta Falcons (2021) and the Las Vegas Raiders (2022), Harmon played over 1,000 defensive snaps in each of those seasons and he did not miss a single game. In 2022, with Las Vegas, his Pro Football Focus coverage grade (77.6) was the 12th-best among qualifying safeties. One weird season is hardly enough to say his skills have completely diminished, even at 33 years old.

Harmon could fill the experience/intangible void left by Walker's departure. He has three Super Bowl rings from his time with the Patriots, and even though he's been a starter for most of his career he'd surely embrace whatever role necessary to re-join the contending Lions.