The Detroit Lions will come into 2023 offseason with money to spend and positions that need major upgrades. Fortunately for them, some of their weaker spots are strong in free agency.

Detroit’s defensive backfield needs to see some major reconstruction, and one spot they could choose to upgrade is safety. There are some quality free agents set to hit the market in the coming days including Jessie Bates, but an NFC East star might have his best fit in the Motor City.

In a piece at The Draft Network, Justin Melo took a look at naming some of the best fits for safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson. One answer was Detroit, a place that needs major help on one side of the ball

As Melo explained, the Lions have plenty of big needs on defense, and a player like Gardner-Johnson could help to solve them in a major way on the back end.

“The Lions require multiple defensive upgrades this offseason. Their 30th-ranked passing defense allowed 245.8 passing yards per contest. General manager Brad Holmes must add proven cornerbacks and safeties to their defensive backfield. Holmes possesses nearly $25 million in financial flexibility ahead of free agency. A ball-hawking safety like Gardner-Johnson should be near the top of Holmes’ wishlist,” Melo wrote in the piece.

Betting that the Lions make major upgrades on the back end isn’t a wrong assumption at this point in time. Detroit finished 30th in pass defense, allowing 26 touchdowns and over 245 yards per-game on average. Worse, they allowed a total of 4,179 yards through the air. That points to a group that simply didn’t get much going all season long and could need outside help.

Already, it sounds as if Gardner-Johnson could cash in. ESPN insider Adam Schefter predicts he is one of a trio of Philadelphia players that will earn big-time deals on the open market.

Whether Gardner-Johnson lands in Detroit is anyone’s guess, but there’s another good reason he could be a fit.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson Could Offer Lions Familiarity

Another advantage to the team picking up Gardner-Johnson? He already has a built-in connection with the staff given his knowledge of the head coach from a previous stop.

Melo pointed out in the piece that Gardner-Johnson was drafted in New Orleans when Dan Campbell was in town. That could mean the Lions know what he brings to the table better …read more



Analyst Reveals Why Lions Could Manage to Land C.J. Gardner-Johnson

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