Projecting Detroit Lions' NFL Free-Agent Targets

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Projecting Detroit Lions' NFL Free-Agent Targets
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL's free-agency period for 2013 is just around the corner, and if general manager Martin Mayhew speaks the truth, the Detroit Lions will be major players for a change.

In early February, he told Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com this:

We were non-players in free agency last year. We need to make some changes. Obviously, things aren't going in the right direction. I don't think they went in the right direction last year. We've got to make some changes and have to improve our roster, and we'll definitely make some moves in that direction.

To quote the great Sam Cooke, "It's been a long, a long time comin, but I know a change is gonna come."

Fans of the Lions will be singing that chorus all offseason if Mayhew is active in free agency. They suffered through 2012, an inexplicable failure, and are fed up with the status quo and promises of more.

The Lions need to win now, not only because NFL windows close quickly, but because if they don't win, Mayhew and Jim Schwartz will likely lose their jobs.

If that happens, it's back to square one and no one wants that.

It all starts on March 12, the beginning of free agency. The Lions will re-sign some of their own, Mayhew's shooting for nine, according to Twentyman, but they'll look elsewhere too. Fans will want to see the big-name signings, but the Lions will do well if they simply add players who offer solid depth at a reasonable price. 

Given Detroit's salary-cap situation, that's really all the team can do at this point.

It shapes up to be an exciting time as the Lions could add several new faces as they gear up for an improved season in 2013.

Here are 10 projected free-agent targets that represent the biggest positions of need for the Lions.

* All stats are courtesy ESPN.

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