(Editorís note: mobile users, click here if you have trouble seeing the gallery above)
Allen Park ó After watching general manager Martin Mayhew try to build a team with players that met the preferred specifications of former coach Jim Schwartz, you could get a pretty good idea of what free agents might and might not fit.
Now Mayhew is working with a new coach, Jim Caldwell, and two new coordinators. Thus, thereís a whole new set of specs.
Itís not going to be as easy initially to predict who fits and who doesnít.
The Lions began the process of getting their financial house in order on Thursday when they released veteran receiver Nate Burleson and safety Louis Delmas, moves which saved the team $11.5 million on the salary cap.
Prior to those moves, they were over the anticipated cap number of $126 million. They can further reduce their cap number by working out an extension with All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who is on the cap for $22.4 million.
Of their own pending free agents, tight end Brandon Pettigrew, defensive end Willie Young, running back Joique Bell (restricted) and quarterback Shaun Hill, are likely to be priorities for the Lions.
Cornerback Rashean Mathis, safety and special teams ace John Wendling, plus exclusive-rights free agents Chris Greenwood, Jeremy Ross and Kris Durham could be re-signed at fairly reasonable rates.
Mayhew has not spoken publicly about the teamís plans for free agency, not even in the most general of terms. So itís a bit of a mystery at this point. But the release of Burleson and Delmas validates speculation their main free agent targets will be receivers and defensive backs.
Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi have in the past favored using two-back sets with a true fullback. The Lions havenít used a fullback in three years. So they may be shopping for one in free agency.
Also, the Lions are in need of a kicker and have shown no interest in bringing back David Akers to this point.
With those parameters, then, check out 15 possible free agent targets for the Lions in the gallery above.