By Dan Jenkins
The Detroit Lions aren’t normally known to make “bold moves.”
Fans in Detroit would say the struggling franchise mostly makes “safe moves” or “boring moves” (or even dumb moves). However, the guys over at Football Outsiders (via ESPN Insider) say the Lions can make a splash if they sign a certain free agent defender.
Charles Johnson is coming off of his 10th NFL season — all with the Carolina Panthers — but the Outsiders still think that the 30-year-old could be a good signing for Detroit.
“He battled through hamstring troubles in both 2015 and 2016, and was still a good player, especially against the run, despite his injuries. A healthy Johnson may not be a double-digit sack producer and primary pass-rushing threat anymore, but he could still contribute significant production if paired with another good pass-rusher — say, [Ezekiel] Ansah.”
The Lions need help on their defensive line, which struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks last season. The team got lucky and saw Kerry Hyder produce a stellar rookie season last year, but might not get the same production from him in 2017.
Signing a 10-year veteran might not be quite the “bold” move that fans have in mind, but the Lions need depth on their defensive line. Considering the Outsiders have teams like Green Bay cutting Clay Matthews, Chicago trading for Jimmy Garoppolo and Dallas holding on to Tony Romo, the Lions signing an old defender in free agency doesn’t really sound “bold.”