As the Detroit Lions entered the offseason, one of their most glaring holes was at the safety position. Though Louis Delmas is a young, hard-hitting option at the position, the team desperately needed a complimentary player to form a devastating tandem in the defensive backfield. They needed someone with good hands, the ability to read the offense and to excel in areas Delmas could not.
In March, the Lions thought they had a good option with former Washington Redskins' safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. The free-agent had a good visit with the team's management but, as of yet, has not made a decision. Not willing to just sit back and wait for something to develop, Detroit has already begun looking into other options.
On May 8, former Cincinnati Bengals' safety Chris Crocker met with Lions' management. According to a tweet from NFL insider Dave Birkett, the visit went well, though Crocker still has meetings scheduled with Arizona and San Francisco, respectively.
Crocker, a 32-year-old, nine-year NFL veteran, totaled 61 tackles last season with the Bengals. In his career, he has tallied 476 tackles and 10 interceptions, earning a reputation as a solid defensive back with above-average skills. He was released in April by Cincinnati.
Should Crocker decide to sign with Detroit, he would add significant talent to the depth chart, battling with Erik Coleman to become a possible third option, behind Delmas and Amari Spievey. His skill set would compliment that of Delmas, though his speed may leave something to be desired.
Though Atogwe is a more capable option, Detroit's unwillingness to wait for a decision shows a bit of concern. Crocker would do well in Detroit's scheme, but he may not be the answer fans had hoped for. He is not a top-tier competitor, but is high enough in talent that his presence may suffice.
Regardless, Detroit is determined to ride Delmas and Spievey as long as possible, believing that their upside outweighs the growing pains destined to come. Fans can only hope that the upside comes swiftly, building on the momentum of last season and driving the Motor City closer to the Super Bowl.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and the University of Notre Dame.