The NFL combine is this week. Free agency is a month away. The Lions could even franchise tag Ndamukong Suh if they want to this week.
So a lot of decisions are about to be finalized or will start to take shape in the next seven days. We discuss some of them in this week's Lions Mailbag. To ask a question of the Mailbag, tweet with the hashtag #LionsMailbag, email email@example.com or Facebook message me here.
Now, on to your questions.
@mikerothstein #LionsMailbag DGB was considered a Top 10 pick, If he's there at #23, @Lions Take him BPA? https://t.co/ojWNIiIbNv - Lions Nation (@LionNation) February 12, 2015@mikerothstein: In short, no. Dorial Green-Beckham is a talented wide receiver, but I think the off-field issues he has had will hurt him in the eyes of many teams. He was never charged with any of these issues, but teams are potentially going to do more background on Green-Beckham than almost any other player at the combine. For a team to take him, they would either have to feel extremely confident those issues are behind him or a team has to have a strong enough base to lend support to Green-Beckham. As for the Lions? I think there are too many other needs for Detroit to take him at No. 23. I just don't see it.
@mikerothstein #lionsmailbag #Suh Would the Non-Exc Tag not b the way to go?Let others neg.If 2 much $ at least get 2 1st rd pks & cap room. - Trevor Kushniryk (@tkushy74) February 12, 2015@mikerothstein: I understand the reasoning for the question -- and it is an interesting one to watch if the Lions end up tagging Suh. However, two first-round draft picks seems like a steep price for almost any player, especially in the new CBA era with slotted rookie contracts. If I'm the Lions, and I can pick up two more first-round picks, I'd be happy about that. But I just don't know if NFL teams would do that in this era. From the Lions' perspective, it would make sense to use the non-exclusive tag rights since they would still have the option to match any deal another team offers for Suh. But I still don't know if Detroit really ends up using the tag with the $26.7 million attached to it.
@mikerothstein Will the Lions make moves to secure players like Mathis, Prater or outside FAs prior to a new deal with Suh? #LionsMailbag - Derek Mack (@Dmacali818) February 11, 2015@mikerothstein: The Lions can't negotiate with outside free agents until right before the start of the new league year on March 10. If Suh is not locked up by Detroit by then, the Lions will have to start working with some contingency plans, for sure. As far as which players that's still an unknown. We should get a better idea next week when Martin Mayhew talks at the combine. I know there has been contact with some of the agents for players going back to the end of the 2014 season. It doesn't sound like anything has been locked down yet, though. Both Matt Prater and Rashean Mathis want to return, though.
@mikerothstein bigger miss in last years draft for the lions? Odell beckham or Aaron Donald? #lionsmailbag - Marcus Condon (@Marc_Condon) February 11, 2015@mikerothstein: Both Aaron Donald and Odell Beckham Jr. are special players and would have been bigger assets to the Lions in 2014 than Eric Ebron ended up being. Personally, I thought the Lions should have taken Donald if he were there last May and I'd say he was the bigger overall miss because of Detroit's defensive tackle situation. Had Detroit drafted Donald, the potential of losing Suh would still be big, but not be quite as massive. It also would have given the Lions great depth at the position at the time. Of course, if there was a redraft, Donald would almost definitely not be there at No. 10 anyway. Neither would Beckham.
@mikerothstein Last week you implied that it's possible Reiff won't play LT next year. If not LT, where? Please elaborate. #LionsMailbag - Big Biting Pig (@BigBitingPig) February 11, 2015@mikerothstein: It's not probable, but it is a possibility Reiff could end up at another spot on the line in 2015. That all depends on what happens during free agency and the draft, but Reiff is the type of player who could play left or right tackle or at guard if need be. It all depends what happens in free agency and the draft. I was just mentioning it as a possibility, not a probability.
@mikerothstein #LionsMailbag Why is Kellen Moore the early favorite for NFL MVP in 2015? - Ian (@extrapointIan) February 11, 2015@mikerothstein: Are you playing Madden again? That's the only possible place Kellen Moore would be a candidate for NFL MVP in 2015.
Jacobs asks via email: Thanks for the great coverage! I know a lot depends on Suh's contract situation, but I wonder if you think the Lions will target some of the top-notch interior offensive line free agents. Denver's Orlando Franklin and Kansas City's Rodney Hudson come to mind. The situation in Denver seems particularly interesting, as they have a to try to pay Thomas & Thomas.
Rothstein: You hit it pretty much there with saying it depends on Suh's contract situation. If the Lions bring back Suh, it is tough to see them really being able to spend on any high-caliber free agents. If Suh leaves the Lions, it would not be surprising to see the franchise go hard after a top-end defensive tackle and a high-level offensive lineman as well. Who might be targeted will be clearer a week from now, but it really will all depend on the Suh situation.