The Detroit Lions looked like they were on their way to a date with destiny as a Super Bowl contender until the team derailed itself. Despite all of the challenges with off the field antics and on-field lack of discipline, head coach Jim Schwartz has kept his job and has been given another chance to build this promising team into a contender. The Lions have made plenty of dramatic moves in this offseason and the team is hoping that the moves translate to wins on the field.
2013 Super Bowl Odds: 55/1
Notable Change #1: Signing defensive end Jason Jones instead of Cliff Avril.
Cliff Avril was just not working out in Detroit. As good as he is when it comes to rushing the passer, he did not seem to be able to cover his other responsibilities on the defensive line as well as Detroit had hoped. Schwartz had mentioned that the way Avril plays had put Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in bad spots. Jones was signed for much less than the $7.5 million per year than Avril will make in his new home of Seattle, but the Lions are confident that Jones is going to be a better fit. This is a huge gamble for the Lions and the fans are watching closely to see if the gamble pays off.
Notable Change #2: The signing of Reggie Bush
Jahvid Best was supposed to be the future of the Detroit backfield, but he was not durable enough to have a career in the NFL. When Best finally retired at the end of last season due to too many concussions, it left the Lions with a problem that only a veteran running back could solve. Reggie Bush was not the savior he was touted to be when he went to Miami. His arrival in Detroit came with much less fanfare, but the expectations are just as high. The Lions are hoping that Bush has a revival akin to the one that LaDainian Tomlinson had when he first signed with the New York Jets.
Notable Change #3: The loss of offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus
By the time the 2012-13 season was over, Gosder Cherilus was considered to be one of the best right tackles in the league. But his inexperience made the Lions stop when the Indianapolis Colts came calling with a five-year contract worth $34.5 million. The Colts need someone to protect quarterback Andrew Luck, and Cherilus is the man. But that leaves a huge hole on the right side of the offensive line that no one on the current Detroit depth chart can fill. With Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford already fighting a slew of injury issues, the loss of the best right tackle on the team is going to present problems. It could be a situation that destabilizes the Detroit offense.
Click here to get a full list of NFL futures for the 2013-14 NFL season.