Five fearless predictions for the Detroit Lions in upcoming days, weeks and months:
1. Ndamukong Suh will sign a long-term contract extension, but it could happen after the draft which is May 8-10. He just signed a new agent (Jimmy Sexton) before the start of free agency. This is going to take some time, but it will happen. The Lions were not counting on the extension being done before free agency although it would have been a bonus. A year ago Matthew Stafford did a contract extension which was final in early July.
2. Expect free agent safety James Ihedigbo to sign this week. He visited last week and it seems signing will be basically a formality. Then look for the Lions to draft one or two safeties in the early rounds. Ihedigbo should start along with Glover Quin, then the young safeties can be groomed for the future.
3. If Shaun Hill signs with the St. Louis Rams (he’s visiting there today), look for another veteran quarterback to be signed as a backup. Ryan Fitzpatrick who had that role with the Titans last season was cut on Friday. He is a strong possibility. If Hill doesn’t sign in St. Louis, look for him to come back to Detroit.
4. Even though the Lions signed free agent wide receiver Golden Tate, they could still draft wide receiver Mike Evans with the 10th overall pick in the draft. Evans, the 6-foot-5 wide receiver from Texas A&M, is worthy of the 10th overall pick. Mel Kiper thinks this is a strong possibility and I agree. Getting a safety or a cornerback at that spot could be a reach. Since they re-signed Brandon Pettigrew, they don’t need tight end Eric Ebron. They do have some interest in pass rusher Anthony Barr from UCLA.
5. Don’t expect any major changes with the way the team is run after the death of owner William Clay Ford Sr. His son Bill has been the vice chairman of the team since 1995 and will continue in that role. Controlling interest of the team has been passed down to his wife Martha.