Jared Davis 5th year option and the Lions LBer group

The more I look at the roster BQ has built the more I think we’re in rebuild mode. I just don’t see anyway BQ and MP can right this ship in one year.

Case in point the Lions LBer group. The Lions LBer group has grossly underperformed and tough decisions need to be made.

Jared Davis 5th year option. The Lions have to decide to exercise his option or not soon. The cost to do so will be roughly 10 mil. Normally I’d say there’s no real downside to doing so but I just can’t see paying Davis 10 mil a year either. Personally I think it maybe time to move on.

Devon Kennard is set to make a little over 7 mil this season and will become a FA after 2020. His salary took a 1.5 mil jump this year and I feel the Lions could use that money to go after a top shelf OLB/Edge type. A guy like Bud Dupree would greatly help the Lions defense. Kennard is a slow LBer and shouldn’t be worthy of a new contract. So maybe now is the time to move on?

JRM - He is also entering the final year of his contract. Personally I like his upside and think he could potentially be worth keeping as a rotational piece. However he’s smaller than the typical MP LBer so it’s possible the Lions view him as a bad fit. He’s young and still developing. Could that mean he’s trade bait?

I think the Lions need to rebuild their slow LBer Corp and it could be time to add some fresh faces. I believe you need speed and range at LBer. If I were BQ I wouldn’t exercise the option on Davis because I wouldn’t pay him 10 mil a year. I like Davis upside, size and speed but he hasn’t shown it consistently. Tavai could be his future replacement anyway. (Personally I think Tavai was a bad draft pick due to his speed and will always be a liability)

I see the Lions needing to rebuilt their LBer and DL groups. The cornerback group isn’t far behind. Our entire defense lacks talent and has health concerns. I think it’s time to rebuild it.

Your thoughts?
Should the Lions exercise the 5th year option on Davis?
Should the Lions move on from Kennard?
Is JRM a future starter, depth or trade bait?
How would you fix the LBer problem.

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I believe he has only played 3 years ? I think we need to decide on Decker this year .

Good post.

Should the Lions exercise the 5th year option on Davis? - Most definitely not. It sucks seeing a 1st rounder not pan out, but it’s clear that Davis isn’t what we want as a starter here in Detroit.

Should the Lions move on from Kennard? - I think so, yes…but they might really like him in their scheme. It’s not like Kennard has played poorly, but if his primary role is rushing the passer I’d prefer to see someone better at doing so.

Is JRM a future starter, depth or trade bait? - JRM is a great depth player. I hope they extend him. He does well on special teams and has actually looked solid when given some playing time. He’s not a starter, but it’d be great to lock him up as a backup for a few more seasons imo.

How would you fix the LBer problem.

Let Davis and Kennard walk, sign a few in FA and attempt to draft one you like as well. That’s a lot for one offseason, so I might keep Kennard around for another season as a result of that.

Davis though? Pains me to say it - the Lions need to move on sooner than later. I just know they’re going to give him another season to see if he can put it together but I’ve seen enough blown tackles/plays out of him to know what we have at this point.

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We exercised Deckers option last year. He plays on that option this year unless the Lions cut him.

We have to decide on JD’s 5 th year option in the next few months or he becomes an UFA after this season.

Here’s an article on 5th year option players.

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Should the Lions exercise the 5th year option on Davis?
Too many holes to fill. Feels like we may have put ourselves between a rock and a hard place. I think fix DL first, and LBs get better. Worry about most important stuff first. Wonder if Quinn feels forced to re-up Davis, because of circumstances? I agree that we are too slow.

Should the Lions move on from Kennard?
If they can. He may be serviceable, when surrounded with the right talent. He’s not ever going to be “the guy,” but he did show some improvement from year one, to year two here. First things first.
Is JRM a future starter, depth or trade bait?
I really like him as depth, possibly even a potential starter, but not in the middle.

How would you fix the LBer problem.
I agree that we should get faster. If we switch schemes on D, Tavai may end up being a completely wasted pick, barring a lucky trade. We need to get faster, by a mile, IMO.


Agree 100% LB is an issue. Not sure how they fix it necessarily. I have heard that if CY were drafted by the Lions he would actually play outside and not DE. That would be one major way to fix the unit.

I think the Lions need to exercise the 5th year option on Davis. I have been on record as not loving the pick, but I think he is serviceable in a specific role. in 2018 that role was clearer to see then in 2019. I think the high ankle sprain severely hindered Davis’s strengths and made his many weaknesses all that more glaring, but the lions are in no position to walk away from him at this point.

I don’t think the Lions can move on from Kennard and like what he does, just don’t think he is a starter, more a rotation piece.

What I heard from people I have talked to is that JRM played so badly against the cardinals that he was in MP’s doghouse for a lot of the season and they didn’t trust him enough to put him back on the field until injuries forced their hand. I value his ST contribution.

If I am trying to fix the LB problem, I look really hard and Dupree in Pittsburgh and hope the Steelers don’t either tag him or extend him. I look at who I can get in FA at DT(Jones/Phillips?). If I get one of those and bring back Daniels and Snacks perhaps I don’t feel the need to go after Brown In the top 5 and hope the skins pass on CY. If we trade out of the spot I probably take a hard look at Simmons. The lions probably are looking at someone we have never heard of before like Tavai and will take them in the 3rd or 4th. :man_shrugging:t2:


What you said. A lot more succinctly then I. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Great Posts by Radio and Big Natty. Thanks for contributing.

Here’s my thought process. I think the Lions LBer group is too slow and lacks sideline to sideline range. Davis and JRM are the only two with any real range to them. But Davis struggles in space. I think he’s a bad fit for our defense but I doubt he brings any trade value.

Davis - I wouldn’t exercise his option and I also do not think Tavai is the answer at MLB. So I’m toughing it out one more year hoping JD gets the hint and steps up his game.

Kennard - I would let him go and look to FA for an upgrade. Bud Dupree is one LBer that I think may actually hit FA. The Steelers have Cap issues and there gonna lose either LBer Dupree or DT Hargraves. If I were DET I’d target Dupree. It’s gonna cost 16 mil a year or more to lock up Dupree but I’d do it.

If the Lions can upgrade Kennards spot in FA then I think they can look to the draft to improve the MLB spot. They then would have a year to groom their future MLB.

The Lions have so many holes that I do not see them solving enough of them without a trade down.


I highly doubt Young gets to us. I think it’s dangerous to think he could step in at OLB. He has limited experience playing off ball. I’d love to get Young but I’m not sure the Lions would draft him if they had the chance. With that said Young did blitz a few times from the LBer position. So I think he could transition and be dominant but I’d also expect a lot of growing pains along the way. But with Young as a possibility you have to wonder how that might effect the Lions approach to FA.

Bottom line is the Lions need more from our LBers.


I doubt he gets to us as well and if he does I do really wonder if they would value him over corner and DT.

I do really like okudah and brown. I am not as concerned about value at 3 but I wouldn’t mind a trade down and getting one of them at 5???

The LB core is so painfully lacking. I might argue DT and LB are our weakest issues on defense.

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I don’t get all the Bud Dupree love here. The guy averaged 5 sacks a season until last year.

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I’m not as down on Kennard as most and cutting him means we are paying him $2 Million to leave or $7 to stay …I keep him around for another year.

Jarrad Davis is so damn frustrating , I’m not giving him the 5th year option yet .
We have until after the Draft to see how it shakes out and if we address the position early or dangle him out their draft day in a trade if a player we covet in on the board to get something for him, perhaps to a pure 4-3 team that would use the option on him.
Or look into to possibly signing him to a new deal that lowers his cap hit in 2021 while still retaining him should the light bulb go on. I’m all over the place on JD because we just do not know , injuries, system, bad fit…etc

J.Tavai should be a center piece for the Lions Defense if the Line did it’s job , he is not a sideline to sideline LB, if we could hold the edge and force the runs inside the guy would be worth his weight in gold , he is building block not a detriment.

I would prefer Dante Fowler over Dupree for us with that said I would prefer to pay Clowney $20 per rather than either Fowler or Dupree in the $16 range

Duuuuude! His name is Bud Dupree.
Combination of a buddy, a beer, and a rapper (though spelled differently Dupri)

How do you get more holywood than that?

Can’t forget a “bud” of good weed brother!!

I see the love for Dupree , he does fit what what we need . He turned it on in 2019 (Contract Year) that’s my issue . Why not earlier , health was not an issue .
I look at Fowler as being the better pass rusher and a guy who started to show why he was the 3rd overall pick in 2015 . In 2018 the light came on and he was a full 2 years removed from the torn ACL and was a key cog in the Rams Defense this year in 2019 , when healthy and motivated the kid is a beast and at 25 yrs old his best days should be ahead of him.

I thought this said Jared Devries when I first read it.

The real problem here is Jarrad Davis isn’t a true MLB. He over runs way to many plays. I think he has looked his best when getting after the QB. He had 6 sacks in 2018 and only 2 this year. I would love to see them move him outside and use him as a rush LB.


Talk about PTSD. damn, brother

No on Davis. If they haven’t figured out that his only possible fit in MP’s scheme would be SAM, then move on. He’s not big or strong enough to mix it up inside unless he’s in a Tampa 2 scheme and though he is athletic enough, his instincts in coverage are so poor that he’ll never be able to do it. He’s basically a reverse Tabor in coverage. So BQ must admit with his first round pick, what he had to with his second round pick in the same year. How ironic is it that we had Kyle Van Noy who would have been perfect in this system, and would have eliminated the need to spend money on Kennard (which could have gone elsewhere). But we traded him for peanuts while BQ was evaluating the Caldwell/TA program. So he drafts JD for TA’s system, then sends that staff down the road and brings in the guy who used KVN as a starter but can’t use JD. Lions luck right?

Move on from Kennard? No. We have money and though 7M isn’t peanuts, wait till the price for quality in 2020 Free Agency starts flying. I’d rather keep him as our backup SAM even at 7M and go get Dupree as a starter. We are going to need to throw around a lot of jack this year and we are primed to do so. We can’t look at bringing in starters at this point. We have to make sure our starters AND backups are good enough to make noise in December and January next year. So you go from a Dupree to a Kennard when a guy goes out for 10 snaps due to a tight hammy. Instead of to a guy that should be on the field in the pros yet. Kennard’s not a part of the problem, just a little pricy so keep him.

I literally leaped from my chair, jumped in the air and my vert was so impressive that I accidentally jammed my fingers into the ceiling when we drafted JRM. That is how much I scouted and loved the guy. Someone finally listened to me! So, I am very biased over him. I think they had to find out only when MP’s first 3 choices were IR’d that he was the best run and chase LB he has, that can actually cover. He should have played about 80% of Christian Jones snaps. But instead he was relegated to ST and spot duty. Stupid. I think he’s depth for us, so I keep him and hopefully MP gets a bit of a clue and uses him a lot more next year. I still cannot believe what I saw with 250lb Tavai in on 3rd and 26 and he wasn’t blitzing when they had JRM and Killebrew.

We probably need 3 LB’s this offseason with two being impact starters. I’d upgrade SAM and MLB primarily and I like Dupree for SAM.

JRM was just as bad if not worse against the pass then Jared Davis was in those last 3 games …
Horrible actually .
I liked him as well coming out but he is not the answer to start here and as a BU I’ve seen enough to let him walk and bring in guys with higher ceilings & lower floors . We need a fresh start with everyone but Tavai as far as starters go