NFL Detroit Lions

5 Free Agents Detroit Lions Should Target This Offseason

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Free Agents Detroit Should Target This Offseason

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A season that looked so promising, ended in abominable fashion for the Detroit Lions. With complete control of their playoff fate, the Lions ended the season losing six of their last seven games in 2013. As a result, the Lions fired head coach Jim Schwartz and are looking for someone else to take the helm of the franchise.

Coaching is not the only hole the Lions are staring at. The silver and blue have yet to find a sure handed No. 2 wide receiver to line up on the opposite side of Calvin Johnson. Behind Johnson, two running backs finished second and third in receiving (Bush – 54 catches; Bell – 53 catches).

On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions still have concerns in the secondary. The Lions finished 23rd in pass defense averaging 246.7 yards allowed a game. Rumors of releasing safety Louis Delmas, who could very well be classified as the Lions' best player in the secondary, continue to be leaked as the team is looking for more cap space.

The Lions have been rewarded with the 10th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but could use some veteranship on a young team. Which raises the question, who will the Lions target in free agency? Some of the finest athletes will be up for grabs this March and the Lions must take note. The following are five players the Lions should consider.

Brandon Sweeney covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL football for Follow him on Twitter @SweeneyRant, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

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5. CB Sam Shields

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Cornerback Sam Shields has become one of the well respected cover corners in the NFL during the last three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Shields has started 35 games since coming into the league in 2010, making his most this season (14) and recording three interceptions and 17 pass deflections.

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4. QB Shaun Hill

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

It is important to keep a serviceable back up at the quarterback position and the Lions have had one for the last several years in Shaun Hill. The Lions need to find a way to keep him in the Motor City.

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3. WR Emmanuel Sanders

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

When looking for a speedy receiver that can get it done underneath, look no farther than Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders could be an ideal weapon to place opposite of Calvin Johnson. Sanders' 67 receptions for 740 yards and six touchdowns ranked second on the Pittsburgh Steelers in receiving.

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2. LB Brandon Spikes

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The Lions have a very complex and talented defensive front, but there is always room to improve. At linebacker, Brandon Spikes delivers toughness inside. Over the last two seasons, Spikes has recorded 178 tackles and five forced fumbles.

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1. CB Aqib Talib

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At cornerback, it is hard not to look at Aqib Talib. A veteran who can bring attitude and leadership onto the field. Since joining the New England Patriots in 2012, Talib has become a top-tier cornerback. His four interceptions and 13 pass deflections are hard to ignore as well.