6 Free Agents Lions Could Sign Before Training Camp

Could Lions add depth prior to training camp?
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Keith Kirkwood (18)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Keith Kirkwood (18) / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

The Detroit Lions have wrapped up offseason workouts, clearing the schedule until training camp begins in late-July.

For the next several weeks, Lions' general manager Brad Holmes could likely scour the available free agent market in search of a beneficial addition to an already strong roster.

Coach Dan Campbell emphasized that if the team were to be looking during the upcoming weeks, it would likely be for depth purposes.

Here are six free agents the Lions could target ahead of the start of training camp.

WR Keith Kirkwood

As the Lions continue to evaluate their current wide receiver depth in search of contributors, one potential option outside the building is former New Orleans and Carolina wideout Keith Kirkwood.

In six NFL seasons, Kirkwood has struggled to carve out a consistent role. He's had opportunities in two different stints with the Saints, surrounding a two-year stint with the Panthers. Across his career, he has 24 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns.

Kirkwood was in New Orleans the first time from 2019-20, which overlaps with Campbell's tenure with the organization. He also has size, measuring at 6-foot-3, that the Lions currently lack. The veteran could offer strong competition for the young players lower on Detroit's depth chart.

TE Trevon Wesco

Campbell pointed out during minicamp that the team is searching for options at the fullback position. The team does not currently have a true fullback on roster, as Jason Cabinda did not return to the team after holding the spot over the last several years.

Wesco has experience playing the position during his time with the Tennessee Titans. A tight end by trade, the 28-year-old has contributed plenty in the run game as a blocker five-year NFL career. Last year, he posted a 56.3 run-blocking grade via Pro Football Focus.

The veteran has played in 69 career games, catching nine passes for 134 yards in that span. Detroit could ultimately choose to move forward with its current options, but Wesco would provide a unique skill set.

DE Myjai Sanders

Sanders' career has not gotten off to an ideal start, as he has played for two different teams since being a third-round pick in the 2022 Draft. Currently, the Cincinnati product is a free agent after underperforming to begin his career.

With Detroit targeting depth, Sanders could be a buy-low option with the potential of adding a competitive threat to the position group. Aidan Hutchinson is the bona fide top option on the edge, but there are questions about the depth as it pertains to injury issues.

This would create an opportunity for Sanders to revive his career, while the Lions could take a chance on a player who was once believed to have high upside.

DT Nick Williams

One of Detroit's most high-profile free agent additions came on the defensive line, as the unit added top nose tackle free agent DJ Reader. If the team seeks more veteran depth on the interior, a player like Williams could fit that bill.

The veteran has shown some scheme versatility in his career and is familiar with Detroit after a stint with the team from 2020-21, the latter being the first year of the Campbell era.

Aaron Glenn's defense relied on another veteran, Tyson Alualu, to play a role late in the year due to injuries. As a result, veteran depth could be important late in the year.

S John Johnson III

Johnson's career trajectory has slowed down after a strong start. He had eght interceptions across his first four NFL seasons and earned a nice contract with Cleveland, but wound up back in Los Angeles in 2023 after being released last February.

Holmes was part of the Rams' organization when Johnson was drafted, and with expertise in the secondary the Lions' general manager could see value in bringing the veteran to Motown.

Detroit's safety depth is in an interesting spot with the potential for Brian Branch sliding from nickel to safety. The backup options remain a mystery to some extent, so added competition could be beneficial for the last line of the defense.

DT Ross Blacklock

If the Lions target young depth, Blacklock would fit the bill. As a 2020 Draft pick, he's had difficulty paving out a role within his opportunities with four separate NFL teams.

His most recent stop was in Tennessee, where he worked directly under new Lions' defensive line coach Terrell Williams. He played just three games with the Titans, but was eventually signed to the active roster from the practice squad late in the year.

He would be a familiar face for Williams, who operates with a growth-oriented mindset and could see value in adding the young player.


Published |Modified
Christian Booher

CHRISTIAN BOOHER

Sports journalist who has covered the Detroit Lions the past three NFL seasons. Christian brings expert analysis, insights and an ability to fairly assess how the team is performing in a tough NFC North division.