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Detroit Lions Free Agency: T.J. Ward, Alterran Verner in Mix; Wide Reciever and Safety Targets?

March 10th, 2014 at 5:55 PM
By Max DeMara

News hasn't come quite as fast as expected as the Detroit Lions begin negotiations with free agents in the negotiation window, but a few names have trickled into the mix, and both are at defensive positions of need.

'T.J. Ward' photo (c) 2010, Erik Drost - license:

In the open negotiating period, things stayed quiet and the Lions weren't connected with many different players, but have been linked to T.J. Ward, a safety from the Cleveland Browns and Alterraun Verner, a cornerback from the Tennessee Titans. Both are young, and both figure to command bigger dollar contracts at their positions once free agency opens on Tuesday, March 11 considering their past production and place within the market.

Monday, it was stated by Dave Birkett on Pro Football Talk that the Lions figure to add a safety and wide receiver in free agency. The specific names they will pursue and the order of those desires are still uncertain, but the top safeties available are Jairus Byrd, Ward and Donte Whitner. The wide receiver market is also decently deep, and Detroit has been casually linked with Emmanuel Sanders there, as well, but no other wide outs.

The major question around Detroit seems to be centered around how the Lions figure to utilize free agency before the draft. Many mock drafts have them making the secondary the first priority early on in May, but if they add the right mix of veterans there, they might be able to make a luxury pick at 10, or even make a move for someone at a position of need like Sammy Watkins.

Tomorrow, it will be wise to watch all of the top safeties and defensive backs on the market first and foremost, in addition to the wide receivers. If a few rumors from the negotiation period are any indication, the Lions will likely make those two positions the biggest priority as they move forward in an important week.

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Jairus Byrd, NFL, T.J. Ward

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