The Detroit Lions have been extremely busy the first few days of free agency, signing or re-signing nine players, including receiver Marvin Jones, linebacker Tahir Whitehead and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
General manager Bob Quinn also has stuck with his plan of versatility as a lot of the moves Quinn has made added players who have core special-teams ability or can play multiple positions. And he's not done yet -- more of that in this week's Lions Mailbag, featuring your questions.
To ask a question of the Mailbag, use the hashtag #LionsMailbag on Twitter, email email@example.com or follow along on Facebook here (and give the page a like as well).
Now on to your questions.
@mikerothstein: Interesting question. I haven't heard of anything official, but I'd be surprised if anyone wore No. 81 for a while. As far as a hanging-in-the-rafters type of thing, I don't know if that will happen. If they started doing that, they'd likely have to begin with No. 20 and Barry Sanders. After that, it's probably No. 81 (Calvin Johnson) and No. 4 (Jason Hanson). He's a shoo-in for the team's Pride of the Lions, though. Hanson was the last one in the Pride of the Lions in 2013. Before that was Dick LeBeau in 2010. I'd imagine Johnson will be next.
@mikerothstein: Your optimism is impressive, although I'm guessing you're asking about your use of them on Madden (or Tecmo Super Bowl -- which you can read more about here). In real life, though, that is a highly unrealistic thing. The Lions have never won more than 12 games in a season. The Lions have only had nine seasons in their history -- including pre-Super Bowl era -- with 10 or more wins. So, I don't see it. I'm not into making predictions this early, but I'm not sure the Lions are better now than they were at the end of last year. Still a bunch of questions to be answered. As always at this time of year, I say 8-8.
@mikerothstein: Adding Russell Okung, who is scheduled to visit Detroit on Saturday, would be a good signing depending on the dollars. The biggest question for him is if he can stay healthy. He never played a full 16-game season during his six years with Seattle. When he is healthy, he can be a difference-maker and give the Lions some flexibility with Riley Reiff. If the Lions are relying on Okung, they better feel good about their No. 3 tackle, because there's a good chance he'd play at least one game. As far as the interior, I don't think the Lions are standing pat there, either. Center is the spot to watch, in my opinion, but nothing has happened there yet. There should be a veteran signing at some point, though.
@mikerothstein: Too early to say for sure as there is only a month until the draft and free agency isn't even over yet. I would say defensive tackle or offensive tackle, but if the Lions add Akiem Hicks and sign him to any sort of long-term deal then it might not be as big of a need early in the draft. No matter what happens with Okung -- or any other offensive tackle -- I still think that's a need position. Linebacker is another spot to watch, particularly with Reggie Ragland and Darron Lee. The tough thing with No. 16 is it is so tough to predict how the board will fall. Check back in three weeks.
@mikerothstein: Candidate? Sure. Likely? Ehh, not as positive there. The deal the Lions gave Whitehead tells me they believe he can be a starter at linebacker, potentially in the middle. Considering Detroit will probably play nickel more often than not, that would lead me to believe Whitehead and DeAndre Levy are going to go into offseason workouts as the starters with Bynes pushing Whitehead. But the Lions have surprised with linebackers the past few years -- from Whitehead winning a job a couple of years ago to Travis Lewis briefly winning a starting job last year. Bynes is still in the mix and should be for a while.
@mikerothstein: Tough to say at this point. Tavon Wilson will be given a chance to compete for the role and Isaiah Johnson is an interesting prospect, although I don't believe he's ready for that kind of leap yet. The Lions were supposed to bring in Rafael Bush for a visit Friday -- as of Friday night, he had not signed with Detroit -- so I'm not sure what the plan is next. I've reached out to try to see where the plan is with safety but haven't been given much of a definitive word. As we all know, things happen fast in free agency, so stay tuned.