Lions expected to look for new veteran backup quarterback

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Lions coach Jim Caldwell’s final year on the Colts sideline went up in smoke in large part because the team didn’t have a capable backup to quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the year after neck surgery.

He’d like to avoid finding himself in the same position should something happen to Matthew Stafford this season. Shaun Hill has been in the second spot on the depth chart for the last four years, but General Manager Martin Mayhew said that the team will be looking at other options this offseason.

“We’ll get into the free agency market and see what it looks like and see if there’s a veteran out there that’s right for us, that we feel comfortable with,” Mayhew said, via

Matt Cassel and Matt Flynn are a pair of free agents with experience in the NFC North and there are other options like Chad Henne with recent starting experience, although the lack of any shot at competing for a starting job in Detroit may limit their options. Kellen Moore is expected back with the team, but Mayhew said he hasn’t had enough experience to “say that you just roll with him and you feel great about it.”

27 responses to “Lions expected to look for new veteran backup quarterback

  1. Why? That is so incredibly idiotic. Hill is one of the most capable backups in the league. In the rare instances where he’s been needed to play in the last few years he’s done very well. I really, really, really wish that Mayhew would have been fired along with Schwartz.

  2. As a Lion’s fan this is somewhat shocking. Shaun Hill has been a consistent backup that has proved his value anytime stafford has gone down. They would be insane to try to bring in someone “better.”

  3. Count me among those who are questioning why the Lions are presumably letting Shaun Hill go. There aren’t many teams out there with a better backup QB that Hill.

  4. They can’t afford to re-sign Shaun Hill, no cap money to do it. He would have to play for less to stick with Detroit. Same issue with virtually all of Detroit’s FAs. This is the penalty for having bad shapes to enter last season and failing at doing anything with the poorly constructed team design. Now a LOT of bodies are forced to exit the team. 2015 could be a great comp pick year for us, oh joy.

  5. Hill is obviously a quality back up. And as a Lions fan, I would love to have him back.
    But for those that think it is crazy for the Lions to at least take a look at the market…this isn’t Madden. Dollars, age, and salary cap actually mean something in the NFL. And yes, your season can evaporate if your #1 goes down. But if you can add a quality starter or better depth elsewhere on the roster, while signing someone comparable (and younger for a possibly longer deal) to back up Stafford, the TEAM is improved now and in the future.

  6. Rex Grossman is from Indiana. What’s the connection with Detroit you ask? Well, Indiana is where the American car industry went to succeed after it failed in Detroit.

  7. “Hey, that Mark Sanchez looks like a good QB… real credit to the locker room too…” said Bears fans to the Lions organization.

  8. Maybe they don’t think Hill fits within the new offensive system. Or maybe they need someone with more personality to keep Caldwell awake during team meetings.

  9. Lions are cap strapped and Hill will be in great demand as a free agent. That said, there’s no way to find another free agent QB for cheap that equals or betters Hill’s talent.

  10. “Why would they want to get rid of Shaun Hill?” As a diehard Lions fan I think everyone in the organization (including Mayhew) wants to keep Hill, however it’s simply not possible. With the new 2014 salary cap number expected to be about $130M, the Lions have between $6-7M to sign 7 draft picks and current free agents including Joique Bell, Willie Young, Pettigrew, Mathis, etc. Shaun Hill was $3,250,000 against the cap last season and he will probably get something similar from another NFL team. Mayhew wants to keep him too, but it’s not realistic. If Suh wasn’t eating up $22 million+ we would definitely resign him. Unless he restructures the Lions will not be targeting any top free agents on the open market and have to let the majority of our free agents go. That’s the reality of the situation.

  11. One guy I hear who is available is a man named Cassel who actually gave up free money in the millions just to escape the misery that is Minnesota.

  12. Letting Shaun Hill leave Detroit is craziness!

    The Lions seemed to play better with Hill at the helm (than Stafford), and Hill never said a peep. No QB controversy at all. Couldn’t ask for a better backup!

  13. Shaun Hill is leaving Detroit because he is a free agent and is better than quite a few of the starting QBs currently in the league. Not because Detroit thinks they can get a “better backup.”

    He’s played more than well enough in his moments on the field to earn a legitimate shot at starting somewhere. It’s not like the dude WANTS to be a backup. Who would?

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