The Detroit Lions are losing a key piece of their offensive line, after 12 steady and solid seasons, Jeff Backus is deciding to hang up his cleats, per the Detroit Free Press.
Detroit will now have an additional need and gaping hole at what is arguably the most important position in all of football.
Adding further insult to injury, the Lions also lost Gosder Cherilus to the Cots via free agency, and, according to NFL.com's Ian Rappoport are also "considering" moving Riley Reiff to guard in 2013.
Add it all to together and the Lions have plenty of work to do on the offensive line, potentially having to replace as many as two starters before the start of next season.
Luckily for Detroit, either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher could still be available when the Lions pick fifth overall.
Both have potential franchise left tackle ability but it is Fisher who is more likely to be available—although he has significantly closed the gap over the past few months.
In Fisher, the Lions would find their Backus replacement and future blindside protector for Matthew Stafford.
Choosing between tackle and defensive end will be a difficult decision, being that it is much harder to find a left tackle than defensive end should make this a little easier decision overall.
Especially when you consider how deep a draft this is for pass-rushing help.
Allowing Detroit to wait until the second round to fill their other huge position of need.