Potential 2013 Detroit Lions roster changes
The 2012 season is over for the Detroit Lions, and now we look onto the potential 2013 Detroit Lions roster changes. The Lions will potentially allow 28 players to enter the lion’s den this offseason, and that is a lot to digest in one offseason. The first player is the most controversial re-signing of this offseason potentially in defensive end Cliff Avril. On the one hand, Avril does produce on the field with 9.5 sacks in 2012, but on the other hand is the sense that Avril is one of the troublemakers in the locker room. Everyone is worried about the locker room environment of the Detroit Lions being undisciplined, petty and a whole host of other issues. I’m not in the locker room.
I don’t know if Avril is really one of the culprits or not, but Jim Schwartz either makes changes to fix the locker room or he’s gone. That may lead to Avril not coming back in 2013, but it all depends on what the Lions front office determines are the ring leaders of the dysfunction. Some issues pop up on the offensive line of the Lions in 2013. Gosder Cherilus becomes an unrestricted free agent, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Everybody complains about the Lions not having a rushing attack, and blame certain offensive linemen, but the Lions run a lot of shotgun formations.
Shotgun formations lead to less effectiveness in the running game, and as such, the linemen need to be evaluated on their effectiveness in pass blocking. Cherilus should come back, but I believe a lot of the issues on offense can be fixed by adjusting some of the formations and schemes. In the wide receivers of the Lions, Kris Durham becomes an unrestricted free agent, and I hope to not see him again in 2013. The problem with having one of the best wide receivers in NFL history on your team is when the other wide receiver on the team plays awful. You take notice of his awful play pretty quickly. The Lions had a lot of injuries to the wide receiver core in 2012, and hopefully they can bring in some more bodies that can actually catch Stafford’s passes effectively in 2013.
Kevin Smith becomes a free agent in 2013, and all we learned from Smith’s return to the Lions in 2011-12, is he isn’t the answer at the running back position. The Lions linebackers will take a hit with both Justin Durant and DeAndre Levy becoming unrestricted free agents in 2013. Both of them have played decent, but the Lions need to find somebody special to replace both of their outside linebacker positions if this defense is going to start improving. The cornerbacks have Chris Houston and Pat Lee becoming unrestricted free agents this offseason. Safety Louis Delmas becomes a free agent in 2013 as well and the Lions need a lot of difference makers in the secondary.
Delmas, despite his first two impressive seasons on the Lions, may not be the answer. Lastly, both Nick Harris and Jason Hanson become free agents in 2013. Hanson despite his age at 42 had an 88.9% field goal percentage. If he’s still up for a 22nd season with the Lions, then the Lions should re-sign him. Nick Harris wasn’t spectacular in 2013, and as a result, a punter search in 2013 will be another priority this offseason to fill. Bottom-line, the Lions need a lot of help on defense and offense, but the 5th overall pick should help.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.