The Detroit Lions appear headed for a roster makeover during the upcoming offseason, and the players are already taking notice.
According to Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press, veteran safety Glover Quin said the changes will affect mindsets of players.
“It could be big. Obviously, you have some players who probably don’t want to come back. They probably say, ‘I don’t want to be part of a rebuilding. I want to go somewhere else.’ You may have some players who are like, ‘Hey, man, I’ve got a new start, a new GM, new this, new that, and so I’m playing for my job.’ Everybody plays for different reasons.”
Team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew are the recent job casualties, following offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi out the door. Additionally, head coach Jim Caldwell isn’t secure in his current position, since the Lions are 1-7 this season.
Detroit doesn’t have many big-name talents headed toward unrestricted free agency, but there’s plenty of role players who have expiring contracts. Haloti Ngata and Manny Ramirez highlight the former group, while James Ihedigbo, Jason Jones, Josh Wilson, Lance Moore and others headline the latter.
Plus, the front office could decide quarterback Matthew Stafford is expendable, especially if the Lions ultimately have a top-three selection in the 2016 NFL draft.
The team could target Paxton Lynch of Memphis, Jared Goff of California or maybe even Christian Hackenberg of Penn State, though Michigan State’s Connor Cook could be a second-round option.
Although Detroit fans don’t want to hear it, standout receiver Calvin Johnson could also be dangled as trade bait, though moving him would mean the franchise is committed to a rebuild.
Changes are coming to the Lions roster. The biggest questions are how many, and if the team’s stars are safe.