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Lions NFC North Free Agent Preview

Pro Football Weekly has a free agent preview on the NFC North, and here’s what they have on the Lions heading into free agency.

Unsigned players: DE Cliff Avril (3), LB Korey Bosworth (1), S C.C. Brown (6), OLB Caleb Campbell (1), OLB Bobby Carpenter (5), MLB Vinny Ciurciu (8), WR Brian Clark (5), DE Jared DeVries (12), FB Jerome Felton (3), DT Andre Fluellen (3), OLB Zack Follett (2), C Dylan Gandy (5), CB Tye Hill (5), OT Corey Hilliard (2), CB Chris Houston (4), OLB Landon Johnson (7), RS Stefan Logan (2), DE Turk McBride (4), CB Brandon McDonald (4), CB Prince Miller (1), TE Jake Nordin (1), OLB Ashlee Palmer (2), S Randy Phillips (1), CB Paul Pratt (1), PK Dave Rayner (4), RB Kevin Smith (3), QB Drew Stanton (4), DE Barry Turner (1), CB Nathan Vasher (7), S John Wendling (4).

Analysis: Linebacker might be a position the Lions will have to address through free agency. Head coach Jim Schwartz spoke at the Combine about how the team was able to fill needs in the secondary last season through free agency and trades, and that same approach might be how they fix the two OLB spots this year. Carpenter could return after flashing for the first time in his career; Palmer also had a few nice moments, although he might be best as a special-teamer and backup. Re-signing Houston will be a priority, no matter if the Lions add defensive backs in the draft — he had a strong season and fits the competitive style that Schwartz wants.

Because most of the team’s free agents are backups, it will be interesting to see if the Lions retain the majority of them or if they’ll have to recoup some of that depth elsewhere. The Lions spent big in free agency last year but might be a little quieter this time around, although Schwartz can’t say enough about the effect that Kyle Vanden Bosch had last season. One or two more veteran leaders of his caliber could push this team over the top.

Click HERE to see the other NFC North Teams

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