POLL - Will the Lions sign John Johnson/Marcus Williams in FA?

Our GM is a college scouting time that has been VERY proficient at finding DBs (safeties in particular). I’ll take my chances in this stellar class. If we can add picks I wouldn’t mind grabbing two safeties tbh.

Maybe a little insight into the market for safeties might be useful when considering a vote.


LaMarcus Joyner is at the bottom of the list with $10.5 million AAV.
Here is his deal and cap hits… signed 2 years ago when cap was about same as projected 2021 cap.


I don’t think Harmon is back and Harris hasn’t shown much. Not only do we need a starter but our depth needs help too.

Not to mention Walker is inconsistent.

Good news is that this safety class has some nice options in it.

My guess is that we not only sign one but we also draft one. We almost have too.

I could see us taking a run for FS Marcus Williams but he’s going to get a deal that is north of 10 mil a year.

He’s Young (24) and the Saints likely won’t be able to keep him.

SS John Johnson from the Rams could also be in play for us. Also Young (25). He would come cheaper maybe 7-9 Mil a year range.

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We did add Igwebuike,Godwin S 5’ 11" 213 off wire in Jan.

50-50 through 22. Interesting.

I’ll predict John Johnson’s AAV is closer to $12 million AAV than it is to $9 million.
And… over $20 million fully guaranteed… probably closer to $24 million.

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If it’s 12 million than we need to look for other options. That’s a little too much for a solid starter.

I agree and could still be ok with this. Just don’t think we’ll get him regardless. The parity in cap room this year is huge. Free agent talent at the top isn’t. Johnson will also want to get paid coming out of CA taxes + rookie contract. I could see him in Jacksonville or Miami

If he gets that much then I’d pass. Usually SS don’t bring what FS do. He’s a true SS.

He’s a good player but not 12mil good.

This. My new draft crush… Looking for an “identity?”

Agree 100%. I think John Johnson is a 9-10mil AAV guy. Anything over that and you are committing too much money at safety. I think Marcus Williams is probably closer to that 12-14mil AAV range and if thats the case then I am out on him too.

I would love to add Johnson, but the cost has to be right.


I’m good with that. Seems he’s likely to go in the second at this point.

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I’m fairly confident he brings north of 10mil a year.

At 10mil a year I am a buyer but at 14 Mil I’m going to pass and look for a cheaper option.

I think in today’s pass happy NFL, having good safety play is crucial to having a good pass defense.

Williams would be a solid get and if the contract is structured right I’d aggressively go after him.

But his price may have went up with the Broncos tagging Justin Simmons for the second year in a row.

I really think these guys will get snagged by other teams.with more to spend. They have an extra advantage this year bc of the cap situation and should capitalize even if it means overpaying. That’s the smart move. Miami having one of these 2 paired with their CB’s would be intimidating and I see that happening. Jacksonville is looking for stability to support their #1 draft pick from last year just like us but with more $ to spend. Because of their age and skill are some of the highest commodities on the market. Predict we will round out our roster in FA with solid experienced players on shorter contracts that allow us to better gauge what we have and a couple fliers.

Just wondering how do you guys view Tracy Walker going into 2021?

I view him as an average starting free safety. Hell
Definitely will be better than last season but won’t be an impact player just an average starter

I don’t agree- I’d consider both top 5-6 safeties in the NFL under 26 years old…

It’s pretty simple-

Is there a double digit edge available? Our best shot might be long term on Romeo who graded as a top 7-9 rusher last year despite playing on a D where nobody was creating pressure and funneling QBs to him.

So sign Romeo Okwara- if it’s 4 years and 48M so be it-

Is there a dominant DT available? I don’t see one outside of Williams who will likely get tagged or 20M per…

Is there a 115 tackle, 4-5 sack, 1-2 int LB available? Nope!

With a few restructures and cuts we will have the funds for Golladay, Romeo, and a top safety!

That’s a 1,100 yard WR with double digit td potential

A 25,year old edge who can play with his brother and challenge 9-10 sacks.

A ballhawk FS/SS who take get a few sacks and 3-5
Interceptions a year.

I would be year one cap hits are about 24-25M combine max

T Williams/Cephus
J Jackson
Big V/Dahl
T Crosby


Flowers/A Bryant
J Davis/rookie
J Okwara/R Okwara

Amani O
J Okudah
J Coleman/rookie
M Williams
T Walker/W Harris


We need a nickel CB, backup RB, slot WR, 5 tech, ILB and maybe RG in the draft…

  1. Trade down to Carolina- pickup a 3rd even
    1- M Parsons/C Barmore
    2- D Dixon/J Cox/
    3- E Moore
    3- A Samuel Jr/Paulson Adebo
    3- T Slaton- NT
    4- T Sermon/C Hubbard

Guys like E Moore and Sermon would fill in the offense nicely if they keep Kenny. Nice 2 big WRs, a promising 2nd year guy and perfect slot prospect to surround an OL I think will improve solely with coaching and a budding young TE

C Barmore/J Cornell
T Slaton/Penisini/Shelton
Hand/K Strong

J Davis/J Cox
J Collins/J Cox
R Okwara/J Okwara

M Williams
T Walker/Harris

We’d be set at DL, and in 2022 we’d only need replace Hand…

We’d be set at LB and Edge for 2021 and 2022

We should be set at safety and if Okudah pans out, definitely at CB for at least 3 years!!

Hand, Collins, and maybe Walker are all we’d have to replace next year-

On offense- only T Williams and Crosby!!!


  1. Edge
  2. RT
  3. WR
  4. DT/DE

Free agency- CB?

This could be a team in 2 years for sure

Because of Williams working with Glenn and Campbell I think the Lions might have a legitimate shot at convincing him to come here. Obviously any big name FA we sign will likely do so because we’re the biggest spenders. But I could see Williams as a priority target for us.

Walker has never even been an average starting Safety. He’s shown promise and played best from the FS position but in all honestly he a liability.

If we target Williams then I’d think Walker is delegated to a back up or rotational role.

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I think Walker is good enough to pencil in as a starter. It’s almost like trying to project a small school prospect that has great physical traits when trying to evaluate how good or bad a secondary defender from the last regime really is. They were all put in such putrid situations to succeed. Then silly mind games like starting a clearly inferior Will Harris over Walker. So it takes a measure of faith (assisted by the fact that we don’t have a lot of FA money and only 6 draft picks at the moment). I think Walker ideally is our starting Free Safety and I’d like to bring in a top flight Safety to pair with him. In todays NFL you don’t really need a highly paid “Box Safety.” But it’s probably smart to have one that isn’t that highly paid on your team. IMO Harris is capable of playing that role. It’s a good Safety Class with some depth, but lacks high end elite first round talent. I like Ritchie Grant a lot. Dude just jumps off the tape and lays plenty of woo hits. I’d love Benny Blades 2.0 and though I’m not crowning him, Grant has those types of traits. I really think our best bet is trading down. There is no one that will be there at 7 that will be a run to the podium pick IMO. The 2nd and 3rd round is filled with potential starters for us and we need new starters badly. If we could add another 2nd round pick that could be Grant. Then around him perhaps…


1 Rousseau SOLB
2a Grant SS
2b Onwuzurike 3t DT
3a Cox WILB
3b Wallace WR

Interesting read on Brandon Staley here.… and includes some info on how he used John Johnson.

On the other hand, new HC Brandon Staley has been in the league for only 4 years, and only been a coordinator for 1, but he is at the forefront of defensive innovation in the NFL. In 2012, the Legion of Boom began its reign as the top secondary in the NFL. Their vaunted cover 3 defense became a staple in many teams around the league to prevent big plays and keep everything in front of them. As the league moved towards a passing centered league, the old featured defense of Tampa 2 from the early 2000’s slowly fell out of touch. This stayed until the hiring of Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan in 2017. Both of these HC’s brought Mike Shanahan’s famous wide zone run scheme back into the NFL and defenses had no answer for it. As more teams attempt to copy McVay and Shanahan, it is imperative that the Chargers find a way to combat that, and Staley is the answer. Let’s dive into why Staley’s defense was so successful and what he brings to the table with the Chargers.

  1. His defense led the league in 2 high safety looks this past year Staley’s defense featured John Johnson and Jordan Fuller as the two main safeties, and both of them usually lined up outside the box. This means that there would usually only be 3 DLs and 3 LBs or 4 DLs and 2 LBs inside the box. He did this at an 85% clip this year. This look invites teams to run on the Rams, because of the lack of bodies inside the box. It is a very interesting concept, and one that hasn’t been utilized by many teams. On a side note, the next closest team who used this concept was the Broncos who are coached by Vic Fangio, the same guy who hired Staley in the first place (both Fangio and Staley’s defenses ranked in the top-half in defensive EPA/play this year). In interviews, Staley has made sure to make his goal clear: “My big belief system is 1-on-1s in the run game and 2-on-1s in the passing game”. Essentially, this means that his players will go 1 on 1 with an opposing offensive lineman when the offense runs the ball, and he wants 2 players around every receiver when the offense passes the ball. He does this because he understands how much more the passing game is than the running game in today’s NFL.

Edited to include this graph… shows Rams preference for 2 high safety looks.
I didn’t realize they mixed up their coverages quite this much.

They ran cover 4 a little more that I would have guessed.

Because of Williams working with Glenn and Campbell I think the Lions might have a legitimate shot at convincing him to come here. Obviously any big name FA we sign will likely do so because we’re the biggest spenders. But I could see Williams as a priority target for us.

Just wondering how do you guys view Tracy Walker going into 2021?

Walker has never even been an average starting Safety. He’s shown promise and played best from the FS position but in all honestly he a liability.

If we target Williams then I’d think Walker is delegated to a back up or rotational role.

I would point out that Walker has improved each season an even he says he had off year in2020.
3 years an Walker has missed just 4 game out of 48 not bad when you consider what the big FA we got did even last season.
Walker total Tackles /solo 2019…77/98 2020…60/83 That is not a liability.
I know everyone has opinions an to make more points would be waste of time since you are expert on all things Lions,

I would just be wasting my time but you are 100% wrong on Walker you may not like it but in this case you are.
Williams last 2 seasons 29 games Walker same time 28 total tackles Williams 79 Walker 181
Williams has better numbers in Passes defended an INTs an walker has better in QB hits
I think smaller numbers for Williams in tackles is result of way better DL an LBs.
So you say the player who was last line of a piss poor Defense who made the tackles. Twice as many solo than Williams made is a Liability
I would like Williams to partner with Walker .
You can have your opinion but you really wrong on Walker