Every day we’ll take a look at one of the Detroit Lions heading for free agency, what he has meant to the team before and a prognosis on whether or not he’ll be back with the club in 2014.
See the rest of the free agent profiles here.
Free agent to be: Micheal Spurlock
Position: Wide receiver/returner
Years in the league: 7
What he made last season: $42,059 (cap value and cash value from second signing). $715,000 (base salary)
What he did last season: Had no receptions and only ran three routes all season. His role has never been as a receiver, but as a returne man and special teams gunner. Spurlock returned 18 kickoffs for 389 yards and 23 punts for 207 yards between Dallas and Detroit last season. He also had two special teams tackles.
His potential market value: His value for teams will be solely as a return man and special teams player. To that end, he could have some value to teams who are looking for a more reliable return man. But at 31 years old, he is getting up there in terms of years for return men. For a team that cares mostly about a guy catching the ball on punt returns and being a good teams player, he could be attractive. But that’s about it.
Will he fit the Lions still: No. Detroit should bring back Jeremy Ross as an exclusive rights free agent, and he beat out Spurlock for the job by the middle of last season. The only reason Spurlock was brought back to the Lions at the end of the season was because of massive injuries to special teams players entering the final week of the season. There is no reason for Detroit to even consider having him come back to the team, and there shouldn’t be much reason for Spurlock to want to return to the Lions considering they appear to have their return man of the future.
What happens: Spurlock will likely end up in a training camp somewhere having to beat out a younger player for a job. That city will likely not be in the NFC North considering the Lions have Ross, Green Bay has Randall Cobb and Micah Hyde, and Minnesota has Cordarelle Patterson. Devin Hester is a free agent in Chicago, but one would think if the Bears let Hester go, it would be to get younger and to not have a returner-only at the position, as Spurlock would be a major downgrade from Hester.