NFL Detroit Lions

5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors Surrounding the Detroit Lions

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The 5 Biggest Free Agency Rumors for the Detroit Lions

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Regardless of what happens in the draft, the free agency moves by the Detroit Lions in the near future will be the biggest offseason acquisitions they’ve made in their franchise’s history. Simply because there is more riding on the next few seasons than the Lions have ever experienced. This is not a season of rebuilding, testing the waters, learning the system, developing a quarterback, etc. The time is now, and everybody knows it.

With the salary cap raise and impending free agency deadlines approaching, the Lions and their fans are charged at the thought of a solid veteran free agent joining the team soon. What’s even more exciting is that there are actually great free agents out there. So let the speculation boil.

There are several rumors surrounding the upcoming free agency battle the Lions face. Some are rumors because they are based on actual interest, and some rumors have stemmed from the wants of the starving fanbase, eager to drown themselves in the celebratory champagne, just once. The Lions’ administration knows what they need, the Lions’ fanbase knows what they need, so what can they actually get?

The answer to that question remains to be seen. The Lions have money to spend now, and they can choose to make even more room for one or two big signings by simply unloading a few more veterans who haven’t produced. There are a few very interesting options unfolding through the rumor mill, and some could easily pan out, so they’re very much worth exploring.

Chris Loud is a Detroit Lions writer for Follow him on Twitter @cfloud, "Like" him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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Brandon Pettigrew is Leaving

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The Lions did not use their franchise tag on the under-producing tight end, and he could easily garner interest from other teams. Unloading his salary, or even just avoiding his potential salary bump, would be a good move for the Lions. Budding star Joe Fauria is looking like a possible cheap option who could prove helpful.

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Jimmy Graham Could be a Lion?

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Jimmy Graham’s former coordinator Joe Lombardi is now with the Lions, and despite the New Orleans Saints slapping a franchise tag onto the hyper-athletic tight end, there is a clause that allows Graham to pursue other teams, as long as they are willing to part with two first-round draft picks. Since the Lions should only be interested in winning a Super Bowl over the next few years, this is an option worth testing.

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Joique Bell Will Stay

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The Lions and Joique Bell wish to stay together, but Bell will likely get offers. He’s a perfect fit on several teams looking for that solid power back, but the Lions need to pull Bell’s home-state heart strings and get him to stay on the team for as little as possible.

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All Money Will be Spent on the Secondary

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The Lions' secondary stunk big time last season, but with promising defensive backs coming up in the draft like Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert and Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, the Lions would be smart to use their picks on a DB, or at the very least try to steal a decent veteran for a good price. Regardless, the secondary should not suck up all the cap space.

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The Lions Will Pick up a Free Agent Wide Receiver

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Hakeem Nicks? Jeremy Maclin? Eric Decker? Julian Edelman? Yes, please. When it comes down to it, all of these options would be great for the Lions, assuming that they perform at their potential. The biggest risk with the signing of a wide receiver is the cost-to-guaranteed performance ratio is totally out of whack. There have been major busts in recent history, like the Miami Dolphins’ Mike Wallace, grabbing big pay checks, and then falling into mediocrity.

It’s a crap shoot, no matter how you look at it, but it’s a roll of the dice that the Lions have to make. In my opinion, they want a guy like the New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman. Someone who can be Matthew Stafford’s Wes Welker, who won’t be starving to be a No. 1 receiver and ask for that kind of money. A high-football IQ guy coming from a disciplined team, he has the ability to get open and improvise, and the leadership ability to work with Stafford to improve.

They can also pick up a solid receiver in the draft, with guys like Texas A&M’s Mike Evans topping the list of receivers that the Lions could get. A solid rookie could be a great third receiver, but could also have the potential to move into the No. 2 position.