Lions re-sign S Tavon Wilson; keep open mind on defense as free agency starts

Expect new looks on Matt Patricia’s defense

With free agency “officially” starting on Wednesday at 4 p.m., it could get interesting for the Detroit Lions.

Same general manager in Bob Quinn, but a mostly new coaching staff with new head guy Matt Patricia.

Already some fan angst appeared when the Lions announced Tuesday morning they’ve re-signed safety Tavon Wilson. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported it’s two years for $7 million. Not exactly breaking the bank.

Already fans on my Twitter feed not happy. They want “some new faces” on defense not the same old, same old. They want Miles Killebrew to have a chance to develop.

Well, guess what? With free agency and the six draft picks, there will be new faces on defense.

Photo courtesy of Detroit Lions

Keep an open mind when it comes to defense under Patricia and new coordinator Paul Pasqualoni. While some pieces are in place, expect competition at others.

Wilson is a good signing. He started nine games in 2017. Late in the season Quandre Diggs was moved from nickel to safety. Patricia is familiar with him because Wilson was originally drafted by the Patriots. But that is not the reason, Patricia wants him on the roster. He wants Wilson because he thinks he can contribute to the defense.

Killebrew will most likely get a chance to prove himself after a season that started hot last year but didn’t end that way for Killebrew.

Who will start at safety this year? Maybe Wilson, maybe Diggs, maybe someone else not on the roster yet. Killebrew a long-shot. Wilson certainly capable to start but if not provides depth and the wisest NFL people will say that you can never have too many defensive backs. They get hurt.
Don’t get me started on the 4-3 or 3-4 front debate.

Hopefully Patricia quashed all of that talk, when he told reporters at the NFL Drafting Combine that defensive fronts are 90 percent sub packages. Patricia called the 3-4/4-3 issue “irrelevant.”

OK, let’s move on.



Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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