As Lions look to fill backup QB void, the draft makes most fiscal sense

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Given Matthew Stafford's large contract, the Lions might shop for a backup QB in the draft.

Phoenix — The Detroit Lions are doing their homework on quarterbacks in the upcoming NFL Draft, including the prospects at the top of the class. The team has met privately with Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Locke. And in some cases, draft pundits have projected the team selecting a quarterback in the first round. 

General manager Bob Quinn has repeatedly made clear he won't rule that possibility out, but he also insists doing the investigative work on the top quarterbacks in a draft class is nothing out of the ordinary. 

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"We do it every year on all the quarterbacks and all the positions," Quinn said Monday at the league meetings. "There's only a set amount of interviews that we can do in our formal interviews at the combine, but our coaches talk to basically everybody at the combine. So to pinpoint why we talked to so-and-so, it's just a matter of scheduling and what you can get from the league when you set the list of guys you want to interview."

Even if the Lions skip out on a quarterback in the first round, which remains the likeliest scenario, the team remains in the market for a backup.

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Connor Cook (Michigan State) is the only option under contract, and unless the team brings back Matt Cassell, the draft remains the best spot to fill the roster hole. 

Plus, given how much the team has invested in starter Matthew Stafford, with a cap hit averaging north of $30 million over the next three seasons, the draft also is the most fiscally feasible way to fill out the depth chart. 

"It's a position that's important," Quinn said. "You guys understand our salary situation at the quarterback position — it's up there — so there's only so much you can do in terms of signing a top-end backup, just with the salary that comes with that. But there are other avenues to get quarterbacks, and we're going to look at all of them."

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers