Over the weekend, there were a few bits of news regarding the Detroit Lions that you might have missed while watching basketball or enjoying summertime weather conditions across much of Michigan. Fortunately, we've got you covered.
Here's analysis of this weekend's latest free agency moves and rumblings from around Detroit.
- Jeff Backus re-signed with the Lions for two more seasons, all but ending any discussion of former San Diego Charger tackle Marcus McNeill coming to Detroit. All things considered, this should be considered a solid move for the Lions. Despite Backus not always feeling the love from the Detroit faithful, he's a fantastic part of the locker room, and a major foundation on an always improving Lions' offensive line. Backup quarterback Shaun Hill also signed a two year extension, which was important considering the team lost third-stringer Drew Stanton to the New York Jets. This move will not generate more than a whisper, but it is no less important. Hill has filled in admirably in the absence of Matthew Stafford, and knows the Lions' offense well.
- It's no secret the Lions are in need of a cornerback, and former Indianapolis Colt Jacob Lacey may be their top target. Lacey visited the Lions prior to the weekend, and then referred to the team as the "frontrunner" for his services. Though Lacey isn't one of the sexier names on the market, nor a veteran, he's a solid young option. Since becoming general manager, Martin Mayhew seems to prefer underrated young corners who can each play different roles on the defense. Lacey fits this mold well, and since coming into the league in 2009, has five interceptions in a part-time role while remaining a solid tackler. It would be interesting to see what Lacey could do with a larger role in Detroit.
- Linebacker Stephen Tulloch remains on the free agent market, and has not been shy about his large salary demands recently. At what price might the Lions simply walk away from negotiations? It appears they already have a contingency plan in place should Tulloch remain too rich for their blood. Tim Twentyman of Detroitlions.com reported this morning that former Seattle Seahawks' linebacker David Hawthorne is set to visit Detroit this Wednesday, while linebacker Tim Shaw is visiting today. Hawthorne is an interesting name, especially when combined with the possible departure of Tulloch. His tackling numbers are consistent (registered 115 last year) and despite not being as deep, still compare favorably with Tulloch's. Hawthorne has also intercepted three more passes and forced four more fumbles than Tulloch since 2009. Statistically, that's not a horrible sacrifice. Stay tuned.
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