The Detroit Lions are escaping for the next month or so, and while there are some potential things on the horizon -- including the continuing question of Ndamukong Suh and his contract -- the players are mostly off taking their final vacations and doing some last training to prep for camp.
In that vein, this will be the last Lions Mailbag until just before training camp, so plan your schedules accordingly. I'll also be in-and-out of vacation over the next few weeks -- but there will be fresh content every weekday on the site, so make sure to come on by.
That said, let's get to your questions.@mikerothstein: First, you're both underestimating Corey Hilliard and overestimating LaAdrian Waddle all in the same sentence, so that's impressive. That said, I believe Waddle ends up winning the job, but Hilliard beat him out initially last season for a reason -- and Hilliard is still a good player. Remember, Waddle could theoretically play both sides as well, so both could end up as a swing-type tackle. Both should make the roster, though, barring injury. It'll probably be one of the more competitive early-camp battles.
@mikerothstein: There's a chance -- a probability, actually -- the Lions at least pursue one veteran cornerback. Whether that player is Brandon Flowers or not is the question. There's also the reality of being able to both pay Flowers what he believes he deserves and how a short cornerback who has shown he struggles in press coverage would fit in Detroit's new scheme. Both of those answers lead me to believe the Lions won't end up with Flowers. That said, as rosters shake out, it wouldn't shock me to see the Lions add a veteran corner at some point if they don't like the Jonte Green/Chris Greenwood situation for the final corner spot.
Chances Lions go after a veteran corner like Brandon Flowers or others? #LionsMailbag— Mike Fata (@Mike_Fata) June 19, 2014
@mikerothstein: It shows some of that, sure. More likely, though, it shows how little confidence Detroit has in Chris Houston contributing to the Lions -- or any other NFL squad -- in 2014. The team was going to pay him too much -- both this year and down the road -- if they felt he wasn't going to return to his 2012 level. Beyond that, the release now allowed them to take care of Eric Ebron and open up some room to make another move if necessary. Those are your real reasons. If Detroit enters camp without signing another cornerback, that's when you can think they really have confidence in Darius Slay, Rashean Mathis and that group.
@mikerothstein: If any of them make the team, Mitch, it'll be in a special teams role. Don't see that happening right now, though. The Lions have five good veteran safeties for potentially four slots. There might be a little more room at corner, but Mohammed Seisay -- who I think you're referencing -- is very, very raw and could benefit from a year on the practice squad. It wouldn't surprise me to see Seisay and Jerome Couplin on the practice squad this season. Barring injury or a major jump, it would surprise me to see an undrafted free-agent corner or safety on the 53-man roster in Week 1.
Ryan from Parts Unknown asks: Sorry I missed the chat but I have a question about Suh and his status going forward. It seems like Suh is definitely angling to get out of Detroit and test the free-agent waters, but does he not realize that it will never happen? Unless I missed something the Lions can franchise him and he will be stuck here anyway. And it certainly seems like he has no plans on giving us a hometown discount so what difference does it make if we have to give him 120% of his current pay? So maybe someone should explain this to him so he can get this deal done and free up some cap space, might as well help the team if you are stuck here, right?
A lot to digest here and in practice, you are correct. Detroit could easily franchise tag Suh and keep him around for a sixth season. That said, his franchise tag number could be massive and depending what the salary cap looks like next season, it would be an interesting conversation for Detroit to have. As far as a "hometown discount," why should Suh do that? This is his chance to make enough cash to set himself and his family up for life. So why should he settle for less just to stay in Detroit? I have no problem with what Suh is doing. None. He needs to look out for himself first, as almost any other person would do.