Allen Park — With salary cap limitations, the Lions weren't expected to be big early-bird shoppers on the first day of free agency Tuesday, and they weren't.
But their primary targets came more into view. Running back Reggie Bush will visit the Lions first. There were reports he was en route to Detroit Tuesday afternoon. Defensive end Jason Jones was at the facility on Tuesday, according to the team's website, but did not immediately sign a contract.
Former Texans safety Glover Quin was also en route to Detroit Tuesday afternoon, according to his agent Mike Hoffman.
The only early signings Tuesday were their own pending free agents — safety Amari Spievey and special teams ace Kassim Osgood. Both signed one-year deals.
The team also extended a second-round tender to pending restricted free agent defensive end Willie Young, which will pay him $2 million for next season.
They did lose one of their free agents — right tackle Gosder Cherilus signed with the Indianapolis Colts. The Lions did not pursue re-signing Cherilus, former first round pick who started 68 of 75 games the last five seasons.
Instead, Riley Reiff, Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard will compete for the job.
Defensive tackle Sammie Hill is expected to visit the Titans this week and there were reports that the Rams were targeting safety Louis Delmas. The Rams new defensive coordinator is Tim Walton, the Lions secondary coach the last four seasons.
Bush, 28, started 31 of 32 games for the Dolphins the last two seasons averaging 5.1 yards per touch. He amassed 2,072 yards rushing and 588 yards receiving with 15 touchdowns the last two seasons.
The Lions envision him filling the role vacated by Jahvid Best, whose career appears over because of multiple brain injuries. Bush, who made $4.5 million last season, is drawing interest from the Cardinals, Bengals and Redskins.
Jones, 26, from Southfield-Lathrup and Eastern Michigan University, has 18.5 sacks in his first five seasons. He played his first four years at Tennessee, where Lions head coach Jim Schwartz played a role in drafting him.
Quin, 27, fits the profile the Lions like in their safeties. He has and still can play cornerback and nickel back, though his primary position is safety. He broke up 14 passes with two interceptions last season.
That the Lions put a second-round tender on Young was somewhat of a surprise, especially since he's produced just three sacks in three seasons and had no sacks and 11 tackles all of last season.
They could have saved about $700,000 by tendering him as the seventh-rounder he was.
But the Lions have released defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and could lose both Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson in free agency. They weren't ready to give up on Young.
On Monday, the Lions tendered Fox ($1.3 million), as well as all four of their exclusive rights free agents — Joique Bell, Kris Durham, Shaun Chapas and Ricardo Silva.
It remains somewhat of a mystery as to where the Lions will find the cap space to sign Bush, Jones and/or Quin — let alone cornerback Chris Houston, who they have made an offer to. A contract extension for quarterback Matthew Stafford did not seem imminent and the team has yet to announce any other contract restructures or releases.
They went into the day with less than $6 million in cap space.
Avril was not immediately signed and there is evidence that he won't make the $10 million per year he was seeking. The first pass rusher signed was Paul Kruger, whom the Browns paid $41 million over five years.
The Browns were one of the teams believed to be wooing Avril.
The Lions also reportedly extended an offer to former Giants receiver Domenik Hixon, but he opted to keep looking.