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NFL Detroit Lions

5 Free Agents The Detroit Lions Should Re-Sign This Offseason

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5 Free Agents The Detroit Lions Should Re-Sign This Offseason

Raj Mehta - USATODAY Sports

Now that the Detroit Lions have made Jim Caldwell their new head coach, their offseason can truly begin. The first step in that process is deciding whether or not to attempt to re-sign the players on their own roster that are set to become free agents this offseason. Once decisions have been made on those players, they can begin to focus on the rest of the free agents available as well as figure out which of their needs they may be able to address in the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Lions are actually off to a good start as they’ve already agreed to re-sign running back Joique Bell, wide receiver Kris Durham and a few other players. This method makes a lot of sense for Detroit. They already have a strong roster in place, and a lack of talent wasn’t necessarily the reason for the late-season collapse that caused them to miss the playoffs. Of course, after a collapse like that, changes definitely need to be made. Obviously, a coaching change was necessary, but roster changes have to be made as well as some players will have to be let go.

But for now, let’s focus on the players that the Lions should retain rather than the players they need to part ways with. Detroit may not be able to keep everyone they hope to keep as they have a lot of money tied up in a few highly paid players, but here are five free agents to be that the Lions should definitely do their best to re-sign this offseason.

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5. Kevin Ogletree, Wide Receiver

Kevin Ogletree, Wide Receiver
Brace Hemmelgarn - USATODAY Sports

Ogletree’s not going to have a huge role on the Lions next year, but he’s a nice complementary receiver to have around who caught seven passes for more than 100 yards over the final two games of the season. He’s relatively cheap, relatively young and can be productive when given a chance. The Lions would be wise to bring him back and give them some depth at receiver.

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4. Rashean Mathis, Cornerback

Rashean Mathis, Cornerback
Andrew Weber - USATODAY Sports

If the Lions let Mathis go, they may not feel that comfortable with what they have left at the cornerback position. Detroit drafted Darius Slay last year and they may look to draft another cornerback this year, but they’d still be wise to keep Mathis for another year or two until their younger corners are ready to take over full time.

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3. Brandon Pettigrew, Tight End

Brandon Pettigrew, Tight End
Jim Brown - USATODAY Sports

Rookie Joseph Fauria proved to be a better red zone target this season with seven touchdowns, but Pettigrew is still an important part of the Detroit offense between the 20s. He’s not a big playmaker, but he’s an important blocker in their rushing attack. If the Lions keep him they’ll have two tight ends that they like which is a great asset to have.

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2. Dominic Raiola, Center

Dominic Raiola, Center
Matt Kartozian - USATODAY Sports

Raiola has spent all 13 seasons of his career in Detroit, and it would be foolish for the Lions to let him go now, especially since they don’t have anybody from inside the organization that’s ready to replace him.

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1. Shaun Hill, Quarterback

Shaun Hill, Quarterback
Don McPeak - USATODAY Sports

When money gets factored into the equation, it’s going to be tough to keep Hill. However, the Lions should think about what happened to two of their division rivals this season when they lost their starting quarterback; the Bears had a veteran that got the job done and kept them in contention while the Packers scrambled to find someone and only stayed in the playoff race because Detroit collapsed in December. If the Lions feel comfortable with Hill as their backup to Matthew Stafford, they should do their best to free up enough money to re-sign him.