Linebacker Travis Lewis and safety Isa Abdul-Quddus both decided to take their careers elsewhere when the new league year opened at 4 PM on Wednesday, March 9th. Lewis will be joining the Vikings, and Abdul-Quddus will be headed south to Miami. Lewis was a 7th round pick back in 2012 during the Jim Schwartz era. He played sparingly at linebacker; most of his value to the Lions was on the special teams. Quddus was an undrafted player who signed with New Orleans who he played with for 3 seasons. He came to Detroit in 2014, where he primarily played special teams. In 2015, he took the starting strong safety job away from James Ihedigbo after the bye week.
I don’t believe losing Lewis will be a big deal. He’s a depth guy at LB, and a solid special-teamer. Those guys aren’t irreplaceable. Abdul-Quddus had more value, as he was a young safety that looked to have carved out a role in the starting defense for Detroit at the end of last year. Especially after George Iloka signed back with the Bengals, I had hoped the Lions would bring IAQ back to be given a chance to start alongside Glover Quin. I was sad about him signing with Miami, but he is being over-paid in my opinion. Three years for $12.75 million for a safety who hasn’t started a whole season? I’ll pass.
With the exit of Abdul-Quddus and the inability to land a good safety in free agency, the Lions are left with a gaping hole in the back half of their defense. Look for the Lions to address this in the draft; Karl Joseph from West Virginia and Sean Davis from Maryland are two prospects they will be taking a long look at.
We thank Isa and Travis for their hard work while employed by the Detroit Lions.
Abdul Quddus and Lewis in action for the Lions:
Isa runs with the ball during a fake-punt, something he did twice in 2015.
Travis Lewis lets us know he has strong arms.