Though the Detroit Lions still have many roster holes to fill -- and that will happen during the draft and potentially a couple of small free-agent signings still -- there are many questions about the current personnel. And what happened with George Johnson.
Those questions and more are answered in this week's Sunday Lions Mailbag. Have a question for the Mailbag? Ask using the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook on my page.
Now, on to your questions.
@mikerothstein: OK, multiple premises here. We'll start with the defensive line depth, where I'll reject the premise that defensive end depth is thin for the Lions. If anything, this is one of the deepest and most stable spots on the roster right now. Yes, losing George Johnson is a blow, but Detroit still has established starters in Ezekiel Ansah and Jason Jones along with Darryl Tapp, Devin Taylor, Larry Webster and Phillip Hunt as potential realistic depth. Expect Taylor and Webster to compete for the snaps Johnson once occupied. At tackle, there is a definitive depth issue and will likely be addressed in the draft. The Lions could add another defensive end as well, either on the free agent wire or late in the draft. To your second point, of letting him go for $3 million per year -- well, the Lions clearly considered Johnson less than a $3 million a year player considering the original-round tender the team offered him. So for them to essentially double the tender would make little sense and also go against what they previously thought. Johnson had a great season last year and was a total surprise -- but there's no proof yet he can duplicate it. That would be a big risk to take on $3 million per year, especially when you don't have a ton of cap room to play with. Personally, I don't think his skill set is worth $3 million per year, either.
@mikerothstein: I'd say under, mostly because as long as Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate are healthy, they are going to command the majority of targets. Let's say Matthew Stafford has 625 attempts in 2015. Cut 150 out immediately for Johnson. So now you're down to 475. Knock out another 125 for Tate. Now you're down to 350. Add in the running backs. Combined, they probably get 150 targets as well. So now you're looking at 200 targets for everyone else. So is it possible Eric Ebron sees 100 targets? Maybe, but that would be on the high end to me. If anything, he's probably looking at 80-90 targets if he's healthy. He's still no better than the No. 3 option for a healthy Lions team, and depending on the week he could be No. 4 after the running back spot. If Detroit takes a wide receiver high in the draft as well, that number might fall further. So I'd say under, but way more than the 48 he had last season.
@mikerothstein: No real update here. Wouldn't surprise me if the Lions wait until after the draft to do something and see how that shakes out. Just because offseason workouts start doesn't mean the Lions can do much on the field. That's when having the starting-caliber left guard -- be it a veteran or a rookie -- begins to matter.
@mikerothstein: I don't see it. Stephen Tulloch is still a productive player, and considering what the Lions lost in the front seven, he's going to need to be even more of a leader than he was in the past -- and he was a big leader on the defense then. If a team came to Detroit with an offer, maybe the Lions would listen, but I just don't see it happening. Expect him to be Detroit's middle linebacker in 2015.
@mikerothstein: Tying with the left guard position above, I'd imagine the Lions eventually sign a veteran there -- be it Rob Sims or someone else. It wouldn't be surprising to see Detroit add a player or two either after everyone gets back for voluntary workouts or after the draft when the front office and coaching staff has a better handle on what the roster truly looks like.