Re-Sign Or Rebuild: Should The Lions Pay Nevin Lawson To Stay In 2018?

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Detroit Has A Difficult Decision With Cornerback Nevin Lawson In 2018

One of the positions that many people aren’t talking about is the cornerback position on the Detroit Lions. Behind star cornerback Darius Slay, Detroit has some talented players but nobody else noteworthy of a huge contract. Rookie cornerback and return man Jamal Agnew didn’t play much on defense as he was a special teams player. Another rookie cornerback Teez Tabor didn’t get much playing time. Quandre Diggs played at cornerback but impressed at safety when forced to move into that role and D.J. Hayden was average at the position.

That leaves Nevin Lawson as the teams second best cornerback and in a market with more talented cornerbacks, Detroit might not have to pay up to keep Lawson in Detroit if they feel that is the best move for the team moving forward. The Lions may want to take this chance to possibly upgrade at the number two cornerback spot though and they could do that with Tabor, a rookie, or a veteran player that can help Slay lock down the passing game.

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Nevin Lawson Has Had An Interesting Ride In Detroit

Starting out in 2014, Lawson was fighting for a job on the roster behind Slay and Rasheen Mathis. Former Lions cornerback Bill Bentley would tear his ACL and Lawson would step into his role. Two games in and Lawson would dislocate his foot, going into surgery right after the injury happened and forcing him to miss the rest of his rookie season.

In 2015, Lawson would become the number three cornerback and start in nine of the 14 games he appeared in. His impressive 2015 season would put him into consideration for the number two job in 2016, and Lawson would fight and win that job.

Since becoming the number two cornerback in Detroit, Lawson has done well at the job. While not blowing people away with his skills, he can still have good coverage against bigger receivers, despite his 5’10 height. In four years with the Lions, Lawson has 141 total tackles, 20 pass deflections, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

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Re-Sign Or Rebuild Nevin Lawson?

Re-sign. Lawson won’t be demanding that much money on the market with big names like Trumaine Johnson and Malcolm Butler being available. GM Bob Quinn could make a decision though. While Lawson isn’t a horrible number two cornerback, the team could look to upgrade at the spot and let Lawson walk. Lawson would be a good, safe, cheap option for the team as he could just sign a one-year deal if they think Tabor needs more time to develop, or they could see Tabor as that number two guy in 2018 and let Lawson walk.

Even if Tabor is the guy and Lawson walks, Detroit needs to sign a cornerback for depth purposes but also for starting caliber as well. Three cornerbacks that Detroit could take a look at are Malcolm Butler from the New England Patriots, Kyle Fuller from the Chicago Bears, and Prince Amukamara from the Chicago Bears.

Now Detroit has money they need to put elsewhere when it comes to free agency, so spending a good amount on a number two cornerback might not happen. They could look into the draft where they could get a cornerback in the second, third, fourth, or even fifth round. Three cornerbacks in that range are Isaac Yiadom from Boston College, Christian Campbell from Penn State, and Isaiah Oliver from Colorado.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and leave me your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

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About the Author

Brandon Knapp
Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.