It was a move that immediately brought hope to a salary cap situation that was becoming increasingly hopeless. Now the Lions have a realistic chance of signing all their free agents. Including Stephen Tulloch.
That said, let's not get carried away. The Lions have at least five players they want to re-sign, but restructuring only freed up $10 million.
Retaining them will still be difficult, particularly since Calvin Johnson's deal isn't done. It is clear from Tulloch's quotes in this article that he will be looking for the best possible situation—max money—and if it comes from a different team so be it.
You can't blame the guy. He's earned it, and no one will be surprised if another team overpays for him. The Lions certainly cannot do that.
If Tulloch leaves, it will open up a gaping hole at the linebacker position. If you add this to the existing need at cornerback, it is clear the Lions are not out of the woods yet. They will still be hindered by salary cap constraints as they try to address these needs via free agency.
In this article I will focus on players the Lions could potentially target via free agency that are low-risk and high-reward. This means that they can be had for a relatively low price and offer some degree of upside. You won't find any marquee names on this list.
Here are five free agents that could address the Lions' biggest needs: linebacker and cornerback.