The Detroit Lions did not bother to upgrade the safety position in last month's NFL Draft, but continue to weigh their options on the free agent market with a significant hole in the secondary. On Tuesday, 32-year-old defensive back Chris Crocker, who started 16 games for a playoff-bound Cincinnati Bengals squad last season, toured Lions facilities.
Despite Detroit's obvious interest in his services, Crocker left town without signing with the team and general manager Martin Mayhew, and is now expected to head out West to check out Arizona and possibly San Francisco. According to The Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett however, Crocker's visit went well, and the veteran safety is expected to decide on a new team in the coming weeks.
For the Lions, the decision to wait on adding a defensive back in the draft could force the organization's hand when it comes to free agency. Crocker is hardly the ideal signing when it comes to adding a playmaker to the back end, but players of that specific mold could be few and far between on the free agent market, and especially when you consider Mayhew's monetary constraints.
Working in Detroit's favor here is that Crocker would have a great opportunity for consistent playing time at safety here knowing the Lions' lack of depth at the position. Starter Louis Delmas has continued to show flashes of brilliance, but continues to struggle with injuries and might not be able to make it through a full 16-game slate. If playing time and a chance to be "the guy" at the safety position are each what Crocker is after, then Detroit should be quite high on his list.
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