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Available Free Agents Lions Should Pursue

Who should Lions target in legal tampering period?

The Detroit Lions were quiet early, then made a splash late Monday on the first day of the NFL's legal tampering period. 

Though deals cannot become official until Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the new league year begins, teams are permitted to negotiate contracts through agents and broker deals. 

Detroit agreed to a contract with veteran defensive end Marcus Davenport as its lone free agent add of the day, and traded a third-round pick for Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis

Though it was a busy day in the free agency world, there's plenty of talent that still remains available. Here are five free agents still available that the Lions should consider signing in the coming days. 

DE Danielle Hunter

If the Lions are still looking to make a free agency splash, Hunter may be the best option still available. He brings elite production off of the edge and would be a perfect fit opposite Aidan Hutchinson. 

The Lions added a defensive end already in Davenport, but Davenport has dealt with injuries in recent years and profiles more as a rotational player. If Detroit is looking for every down production in free agency, Hunter is a strong fit. 

Hunter could be expensive to acquire, as the pass-rusher market has quickly risen. However, the Lions still have the resources to get a marquee deal done. 

DT DJ Reader

The Lions were linked to Reader throughout the first day of the legal tampering period. After missing out on Christian Wilkins, Reader seems like a logical fit for the organization as they look to add more interior help. 

Last season with Cincinnati, Reader managed 34 tackles and one sack from the nose tackle position. By acquiring him, the Lions could free Alim McNeill up to handle other duties on the defensive interior. 

As a true nose tackle, Reader fits a need that the Lions have. With a current lack of depth, Detroit would be wise to spend on adding a talented, experienced option. 

OG Laken Tomlinson

It would be a reunion of sorts for the Lions to bring back Tomlinson, who was drafted in the first round by the Lions back in 2015. However, losing Jonah Jackson leaves a hole on an otherwise outstanding offensive line.

With little depth currently on roster, Tomlinson could be brought in to compete with the likes of Colby Sorsdal for a roster spot in 2024. It would be a good depth addition, as Tomlinson has started 138 games in his career. 

Detroit could still target offensive line early in the Draft, while bringing in the veteran would generate immediate competition. 

CB Stephon Gilmore

Gilmore has proven to be a standout over his 12-year NFL career. While his performance hasn't been at an elite level as of late, he's still plenty capable of impacting opposing passing attacks. 

Detroit took a step toward addressing their cornerback struggles with the addition of Carlton Davis via trade on Monday, but there's still a need for a true shutdown corner. 

At the least, Gilmore would give the Lions another capable starter who can provide solid coverage against wideouts such as DJ Moore and Justin Jefferson. Additionally, the Lions have a leg up by having Gilmore's brother Steven already on roster. 

WR Darnell Mooney

Detroit has a decision to make with Josh Reynolds, as the wideout has officially hit the free agent market. If Holmes is unable to bring him back, the organization could pivot to signing a player like Mooney. 

In four seasons, Mooney has recorded 2,593 receiving yards. Despite being undersized at 5-foot-11, he is a downfield threat who can win in contested situations. 

The Lions value Reynolds' ability to do all the little things within their offense, and Mooney brings a similar skill set if Detroit is unable to retain its incumbent option.