The Detroit Lions have clearly stated that they are in a win-now mode. Music to all Lions fans’ ears, but how do they know next season will not be like last season? With free agency less than a day away and the draft knocking on their doors, the Lions need to start making some moves in order to become serious contenders. Here are the four keys to this offseason that I think the Lions should exercise:
Trade Ndamukong Suh for Darrelle Revis
The Lions are frantically trying to restructure Suh’s contract to free up valuable cap room. His current cap hit for the 2014 season would be almost $22.5 million dollars. Reports out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ camps are that the organization is shopping Revis because he does not fit their system. Revis’ current cap hit would be $16 million dollars. Swapping the two players seems like a win-win. For the Lions, they solve their secondary problem and free up a couple of million dollars in cap space. While for the Buccaneers, pairing Suh with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy would instantly create the most feared defensive tackle tandem in the NFL.
Draft DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh with the 10th Overall Pick
A guy who has been shooting up draft boards the last few weeks is defensive tackle Donald from the University of Pittsburgh. In his four year stint at Pitt he recorded 29.5 sacks and 66 tackles for loss. Last year was his undoubted breakout season where he recorded 11.0 sacks and 28.5 tackle for loss. Some scouts are saying at six feet tall, Donald is too small, but scouts can say what they want. You cannot deny talent forever. If you want to make a comparison, in five years at Nebraska, Suh only had 24 sacks and 49.5 tackles for loss. Suh’s a great player, but he’s commanding too much money and it’s time to move on.
Draft WR Davante Adams, Fresno State with the 45th Overall Pick
It is no secret the Lions need help at wide receiver and Adams is a perfect plug-and-play fit. Coming off a 24 touchdown season and two back-to-back thousand yard receiving seasons, Adams is ready to make an impact in the NFL. One of Adams’ big strengths is his hands and for a team that suffers from the drops, they desperately need a sure handed receiver.
Sign Safety Donte Whitner
One thing the Lions lost this offseason is leadership. With the releases of the Lions’ vocal leaders, Nate Burleson and Louis Delmas, this team really has no fiery personality on either side of the ball. Whitner is a known leader and is still considered one of most feared defensive player in the NFL. With an offer of a two-year contract at $6 million a year, Whitner should not want to second guess his opportunities with Detroit.
Louis Bilotta is the co-host of Lions’ Den for Impact Sports.