The start of a new year is here, and a Detroit Lions teardown is near.
After the debacle that was the Matt Patricia-Bob Quinn era in Detroit, it's time to push the restart button.
The next regime will have plenty of decisions to make when it comes to overhauling the roster, which will be dove into extensively at SI All Lions all throughout the looming offseason.
But, for the sake of this piece, let's take a look at the three biggest non-Matthew Stafford-related moves the franchise can make to kick-start its rebuild.
1.) Acquire a pass-rusher
The Lions' pass-rushing unit has been MIA nearly all season long.
The team has combined for 21 sacks, which is just 1.4 per game and 27th in the NFL.
Additionally, defensive end Romeo Okwara has accounted for nine of those sacks himself.
So, without his presence, Detroit would be even more anemic from a pass-rushing perspective.
This is an issue that needs to be clearly addressed, and I believe it should be via next year's NFL Draft.
If the new head coach-general manager duo takes my advice and does target a pass-rusher in the draft, it could have its choice of EDGE rushers -- i.e. Miami (Fla.)'s Gregory Rousseau, who sat out the 2020 season, and Michigan's Kwity Paye -- in the first round.
And, this would become an even bigger area of need if Okwara, whose contract is set to expire at season's end, walks in free agency.
Regardless of what happens with Okwara, though, Quinn's replacement needs to make upgrading the pass-rush department a top priority this offseason.
2.) Trade assets for more draft picks
A major rebuild is about to ensue in the Motor City.
So, there's no doubt in my mind that the Lions will be far away from being playoff contenders in 2021.
It makes trading off the team's barren supply of assets a necessity this upcoming offseason.
Any players under contract for the '21 campaign subsequently need to be actively shopped by the next regime -- and specifically for draft picks.
Remember, Detroit presently only has five picks in next year's draft.
So, the team's next general manager must do everything in his power to acquire more draft capital.
And to take it another step further, Quinn's successor must be committed to building the Lions' roster through the draft.
If I was taking over as the organization's lead personnel decision-maker, I'd make it a priority to let other NFL franchises know that I'm looking to gain draft capital and that my most valuable assets could be had in return -- i.e. Stafford, linebacker Jamie Collins and defensive end Trey Flowers.
I believe it's the approach the organization's higher-ups need to take if they intend on pulling off a successful teardown and rebuild of the roster.
3.) Sign Corey Davis
Detroit's wide receivers room could look a lot different a season from now.
The team's three best wideouts -- Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola -- are all set to be free agents at season's end, and there's no guarantee that any of them will be back in a Lions uni in 2021.
If all three part ways with the organization or even if just Golladay or Jones does, the next regime must add an impact receiver this offseason.
The Western Michigan product, who was drafted by the Titans in the first round (No. 5 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft, has put together a career year in his fourth season in the league.
He's amassed 60 receptions for a career-best 945 yards, 15.8 yards per reception and five touchdowns in 13 games.
He'll also be just 26 come the start of the '21 season, so he feasibly could be entering the best three-four-year stretch of his career.
If Detroit can get him at four years for $9.5-$10 million annually, I'd pull the trigger.
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