With the offseason approaching vastly, I thought it would be appropriate to go over the players the Lions must retain, if they want to continue their success from last season. Now, the Lions have a few empty holes in their lineup such as defensive tackle, tight end, and a true wide receiver two. Simply put, I won’t be focusing on those positions today. Today I will be focusing on the players who the Lions need to re-sign. Now I only found 2 players that were essential to the Lions success. Fortunately, they aren’t losing to many of their big name players because they are still on their rookie contracts. In the end, there are 2 that are a must have for the Lions next season:
I mean where do I start, 1,066 rushing yards, 17 rushing touchdowns, the man is unstoppable. Jamaal Williams finally got the season he absolutely needed after leaving Green Bay. He has finally shown that he can be the next premier running back for the Lions since Barry Sanders, and no, I am not saying that he is as good as Barry Sanders, but unfortunately that was the last outstanding running back for the Lions. He was 1 of 8 Lions running backs to run for over 1,000 yards in the past 73 years. The only other Lions running back to run for 1,000+ yards and 15+ touchdowns in a single season, in that time span, was none other than Barry Sanders. If the Lions want to have another outstanding season on the ground, they must bring Jamaal Williams back.
Unfortunately, the Lions haven’t had a true dominant linebacker since Tahir Whitehead back in 2018. However, they do have Alex Anzalone and, in my opinion, he is a great fit for this new, revamped, Lions defense. It showed in 2022 when Anzalone had a career year. He had 125 total tackles, which places him 21st in the league. That stat should give Lions fans hope for what he has in store. He posted 1.5 sacks as well, which yes, seems very underwhelming, but that isn’t Anzalone’s role in that Lions defense. He is looked at as more of a run stopper, and if the Lions didn’t have him, they would have fared much worse this season then they already were. However, Anzalone wasn’t even that bad when it came to pass defense. In coverage this season, Anzalone recorded a total of 6 pass breakups and an interception. Believe it or not, in 2021, he actually had nearly the same stats, but just one more PBU. He also isn’t penalized that often, only recording 2 penalties that cost the Lions yardage. All in all, I think bringing back Anzalone would be very beneficial for the Lions defense.