The Detroit Lions are in the process of re-examining the roster ahead of free agency and the draft, and the team’s new head coach and general manager spoke to the media about it on Tuesday morning.
New Lions head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes spoke to the media about a wide range of topics, from the upcoming NFL Draft, to free agency decisions, to franchise tag decisions. It’s going to be a busy offseason for the Lions following the Matthew Stafford deal.
March 9 is the deadline for teams to use the franchise tag. Free agency opens at 4 p.m. on March 17.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways:
All options on table for Kenny Golladay
It’s no secret that Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay needs a new contract. But will he get one?
Both Campbell and Holmes skirted any direct answer on Golladay’s future, but with the March 9 franchise tag deadline coming, the Lions have a decision to make in the short-term.
The Lions brass said the team is mulling all scenarios, including a long-term deal. We’ll find out soon enough.
Campbell did jokingly say that he “would love to be franchised,” noting it’s “a pretty good chunk of change.”
“I don’t think there’s any debate that Kenny has shown the ability to be a No. 1 receiver in this league,” Brad Holmes said. “Kenny has been on the forefront of our minds to make the best decision, not only for the Lions, but for Kenny.”
Holmes did note that while the receiver position looks thin right now, he feels confident that could successfully “flip” the receiver room, if needed.
NFL Draft approach
Take this for what it’s worth: Brad Holmes said he likes the crop of players in the quarterback draft class.
“When you’re picking inside the top 10, you better know all the positions despite the circumstances on your roster,” Holmes said.
“This draft class is a good class overall,” Holmes said. “The safety class is deep and there’s a lot of value to be found at that position.”
Team needs, free agency
“It’s no secret that receiver is somewhat of a need,” Campbell said. “Cornerback, we don’t have a lot of depth.”
Campbell said he wants competition in other areas like linebacker and defensive line. “There’s all kinds of holes we have here, but no different than any other team.”
“I sure don’t want Brad to feel like he has to chase positions in the draft,” Campbell said. “We’ll find a way to address some of these spots,” adding that finding less talented but more competitive players in free agency could be a place to find depth. Campbell said familiarity will definitely play a role in bringing in new players.
“Anybody we bring in right now is going to have to be able to set a tone for us,” Campbell said, adding that he believes the Lions have “a good group of guys” right now. “Most of the time you come into a place and it’s not that way. So that’s a positive here.”
“You’re looking for guys to come in and compete to start or to push the guy behind them and make them have to earn that spot,” Campbell said. “Philosophy wise, those are the guys we want to add.”
“We’re going to have a lot of flexibility with what we do here. It may not always be pretty, but we’ll find guys who can compete and can hold their own.”
“I would say there are some pieces that we definitely need to add, starting with the defensive side of the ball,” Brad Holmes said. “We need starters in some positions. We need to add depth.”
Front office dynamics
There’s been some talk about the fact the team owner Sheila Ford Hamp being in personnel meetings and how the decision making dynamic is shaking out.
Campbell said he and Holmes are making all of the decisions. “We will come to the best agreement,” Campbell said, adding that he’s a good listener and isn’t going to dwell on a disagreement. “Brad and I have the final say on these things, and that’s just fine.”
Campbell said Hamp has been “outstanding” and appreciates her involvement in the process. “She has been nothing but outstanding,” Campbell said. “I want our coaches, our players, to know that she cares,” Campbell said. “You can’t ask for anything better.”