Should Lions Bring Back DT Mike Daniels in 2020?

Logan Lamorandier

The Lions scooped up one-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Mike Daniels after he was released by the Packers this past offseason. 

At the time of the signing, it was almost universally lauded as a solid addition. 

Daniels did miss the last six games of the 2018 season due to injury, but was pretty healthy in his first six years in the league.

The Packers ultimately decided to release Daniels for cap reasons and to go younger at the position.

Unfortunately, Daniels has continued to battle the injury bug in Detroit. 

He has battled a foot ailment all season, and has appeared in just eight games for the Lions. 

In those games, he has accumulated a mere nine total tackles and a lone sack. 

Not exactly what many hoped for considering the Lions gave a one-year, $9.1 million contract to Daniels.

Now, given the fact that his deal was essentially an opportunity for him to prove his worth, how should the Lions approach his impending free agency?

Before Week 14, Daniels had largely been just a rotational player. 

His limited usage hardly justified his paycheck. 

Oddly enough, Daniels led the Lions' defensive interior in snaps against the Vikings Sunday, and played well in his expanded role.

Daniels was Detroit's top-graded defender against Minnesota, according to Pro Football Focus. 

He recorded an 86.2 mark, which resulted in his highest-graded game since Week 1 of 2018.

Just one week of great play won't change the perspective of Lions fans on Daniels completely. 

He has a 70.2 PFF grade for the year, which -- if the season ended today -- would be the lowest grade of his career since his rookie season in 2012. 

It's fair to say that Daniels may be on the decline.

Ultimately, Daniels will likely not receive another big contract, and the Lions will have to make a decision on whether they should make a push to keep him. 

Fellow defensive tackle Da'Shawn Hand has had his own injury history, and A'Shawn Robinson will be a free agent in the coming offseason like Daniels.

Make no mistake, the Lions' defensive line -- as a whole -- has severely underperformed in 2019. 

Part of that is due to Daniels' inability to stay on the field.

Daniels is still a good player, though, who now has experience in Patricia & Co.'s scheme. 

It never hurts to have a player of Daniels' caliber at the right cost. 

His price tag, however, will have to come down in order for the Lions to consider bringing him back. 

The last few weeks will be of vital importance for Daniels, not only from a health perspective but also with his on-field performance.

My verdict: If the Lions can bring Daniels back on a cost-effective, one-year deal for $3.5M or less, they should bring him back in 2020. If he wants more than that, the Lions shouldn't even consider going to the negotiation table with the 30-year-old.     

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Bring for one year at 3.5 mil and and let A’shawn go. Let Hand be ready to start and draft 2nd round DT.