Ryan Tannehill

Getty Ryan Tannehill could be a top free agent target for the Packers.

The Detroit Lions are set at the top of the quarterback depth chart with starter Jared Goff, but have a bit of a question mark behind him.

After veteran Teddy Bridgewater, last year’s backup, opted for retirement, the Lions are set to go with second-year quarterback Hendon Hooker as their No. 2. Hooker spent the majority of his rookie season recovering from a torn ACL, and never saw the field after returning to the active roster late in the season.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine speculated that the Lions could follow last season’s blueprint and find a veteran backup, suggesting that Ryan Tannehill could be a logical addition in free agency.


Lions May Need Help at Key Position

The Lions made a big commitment to Goff this offseason, giving him a four-year contract extension worth $212 million including $170 million in guaranteed money. The former No. 1 overall pick has helped lead a major turnaround in Detroit, taking the team to the NFC Championship game last season.

But after Bridgewater’s retirement this offseason, the Lions have little in the way of proven depth behind Goff. Ballentine noted that Tannehill is considered one of the league’s top backup quarterbacks, having started 151 games in his career while earning a Pro Bowl nod.

Ballentine pegged the Green Bay Packers as a potential suitor for Tannehill and noted that the Lions could be interested as well.

“Elsewhere in the NFC North, the Lions would be handing the offense over to second-year player Hendon Hooker if Jared Goff were to be injured,” Ballentine wrote. “Hooker spent most of his rookie season rehabbing a torn ACL, so it would make sense for the Lions to bring in a more experienced passer behind Goff.”

Others have suggested that Tannehill could be a good fit in Detroit. Fellow Bleacher Report writer Paul Kasabian suggested it could be too risky to go forward with just the unproven Hooker behind Goff.

“Hooker could very well find a home as a QB1 somewhere someday and carve out a successful career,” Kasabian wrote. “But it may also be a bit nervy to hand the keys to him if QB1 Jared Goff has to miss time simply due to his lack of experience.”

The Lions have been known to make late tweaks to their quarterback room, adding Bridgewater late in the offseason last year and handing him the No. 2 spot.


Lions Could Find Other Value for Hendon Hooker

With Goff solidified as the starter and the team investing a significant portion of the salary cap into his contract, Hooker’s value to the team could lie elsewhere. The Atheltic’s Colton Pouncy predicted that the Lions could look to trade the 26-year-old, leaning on the buzz he had coming out of college and the growth he has made working behind Goff.

“The Lions drafted him to be a high-upside backup with starting potential if needed, but now that he’s blocked by Goff for the foreseeable future, could a trade down the road be the best way to maximize his value?” Pouncy wrote. “It’s an interesting discussion. Probably not one for the 2024 season, but perhaps when we get deeper into his rookie contract.”

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