Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press
Published 8:04 AM EDT Sep 1, 2019
The roster-building process is a never-ending one.
Last year, the Detroit Lions found their season sack leader on waivers, claiming Romeo Okwara from the New York Giants a few days after the initial cut down to 53 players.
There’s no guarantee an Okwara will be on the waiver wire Sunday, but the Lions almost certainly will be active trying to upgrade their roster.
More than 1,000 players were waived or released Saturday and the Lions still look thin at wide receiver and offensive tackle.
Here are seven players who could interest the Lions before today’s noon waiver claim deadline.
QB Brian Hoyer, Patriots
Hoyer is not subject to waivers as a vested veteran, so he’s free to sign with any team he wants. The Lions kept Josh Johnson as their backup Saturday, but Hoyer does have a history with Lions coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn from their time in New England. The former Michigan State star has started games for five different teams during his career. He might provide a little more insurance behind Matthew Stafford.
WR Jaron Brown, Seahawks
Another vested vet, Brown reportedly was released for cost-saving reasons Saturday as the Seahawks needed to clear cap space after trading for Jadeveon Clowney. Brown caught five touchdown passes and made two starts for the Seahawks last season. More importantly, he played about a quarter of the special-teams snaps in Seattle after playing about a third with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017. He would fit as the Lions’ No. 4 receiver.
WR Braxton Berrios, Patriots
The Lions showed interest in one Patriots receiver released early this summer, Dontrelle Inman, and they could have interest in Berrios as well. Not only does he come from the New England tree the Lions love to poach from, he looked pretty good in joint practices here in Detroit. Berrios is a slot receiver, so he might not offer much on special teams. But the Lions are pretty thin at receiver.
LB Malik Jefferson, Bengals
The Bengals changed coaching staffs this offseason and Jefferson apparently did not fit in the new defense. He was a third-round pick last year out of Texas who played sparingly (10 tackles in 12 games) as a rookie. The Lions worked out Jefferson before the draft last year.
OG Joshua Garnett, 49ers
Whether the Lions make a play for Garnett or not could reveal what they truly think of their left guard situation. Garnett made 11 starts in 2016 as a third-round pick then missed the entire 2017 season and part of last year with injuries. For now, the Lions are rolling with Kenny Wiggins or Joe Dahl as their starting left guard, and Oday Aboushi and Beau Benzschawel as backups.
OT Mitch Hyatt, Cowboys
Good offensive linemen don’t usually hit the waiver wire, and the Cowboys kept 11 on their 53-man roster, so Hyatt is in no way an immediate contributor. But he was one of the most sought after undrafted free agents coming off a good career at Clemson and could be a developmental tackle to squat on. The Lions only have one true backup tackle (Tyrell Crosby) on their roster, though Wiggins can play right tackle in a pinch if need be.
DE John Franklin-Myers, Rams
One of the NFC favorites, the Rams have a deep roster so it’s natural to think some of their castoffs will get action on the waiver wire. Franklin-Myers, a fourth-round pick last spring, is one such candidate. He had a sack of Tom Brady and forced a fumble in the Super Bowl and would be a young developmental pass rusher for the Lions to mold.
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