Standout players like Ezekiel Ansah and Darius Slay will receive most of the attention when the Lions look to extend members of their 2013 draft class. But Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press warns not to overlook a late-rounder from ’13 — fifth-round punter Sam Martin recently changed agents, hiring Sean Kiernan and Erik Burkhardt of Select Sports, signaling that he’s open to discussing a new contract.
Martin, 26, won’t be in line for any sort of mega-deal, but he should do well for a punter. In 2015, his 42.0 net-yard average was fourth in the NFL, and just three of his 80 attempts went for touchbacks. As Over The Cap’s data shows, to crack the top 10 highest-paid punters in the league, Martin would have to average $2.8MM annually on an extension, and he’s probably a good bet to match or exceed that figure.
Here’s more out of Detroit:
- The Lions have made a habit of including playing-time incentives and/or per-game roster bonuses in most of the free agent contracts they’ve handed out this offseason, Birkett observes in a piece for the Free Press. New GM Bob Quinn explained that it’s a way to protect the team a little, while also giving players a chance to max out their value. “We want these guys to earn their contracts,” Quinn said.
- The Lions weren’t in the mix for Alex Mack and haven’t shown any real interest in the second tier of free agent centers, but the team would still like to add some competition for center Travis Swanson, according to Birkett. Quinn was noncommittal when asked if the center position would be a priority in the draft: “If there’s a center there that I like, yeah. I mean, you tell me who’s going to be there and I’ll tell you if it’s a priority or not.”
- Massachusetts quarterback Blake Frohnapfel met with a Lions scout and quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan in advance of his pro day on Thursday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.