Building a worthy arsenal of offensive weapons for Matthew Stafford to make the most of is probably the first thing on the to-do list for the Detroit Lions, but cap limitations won’t allow them to go after a wide receiver from the top-tier of the free agents, instead probably settling for players like Ted Ginn or Josh Cribbs.
Besides having Calvin Johnson, the Lions aren’t too happy with the options they have at receiver, with everyone but Johnson catching for less than 400 years, and the tandem of Nate Burleson and Ryan Broyles not exactly exciting a lot of people in Detroits because they’re coming off season-ending injuries.
Bringing in someone like Ginn or Cribbs, who can help in the return game as well seems to be something the Lions are aiming for. Ginn, a six year veteran, has played for the San Francisco 49ers for the last three seasons, and caught only 2 passes for 1 yards last season, pretty much unused in the passing game. He was mostly used in the punt return game by the Niners, scoring three return touchdowns during his time with the team. With the Dolphins, in the first half of his career, he was a little more busy in the receiving game, averaging 43 receptions a season with them.
Cribbs has been the return man for the Cleveland Browns over the last eight seasons. He was one of the best in the NFL earlier in his career, including leading the NFL in kick return yards in the 2007 season and scoring 3 touchdowns off kick returns in the 2009 season. Since then he has slowed down when it comes to the return game, while barely being used in offensive sets, finishing last season with 7 catches for 63 yards, but was a lot busier and more productive in 2011.
None of the option seem like impressive upgrades for the Lions, but it seems that the situation of not having anyone but Calvin Johnson to look at for Matthew Stafford can’t continue if they want to win more than 4 games a season. Adding a quick slot receiver who can help in the return game is better than nothing.