Free agency always affects NFL Draft decisions, but perhaps never more so for the Detroit Lions than this year.
The Lions have numerous holes to fill coming off a 4-12 season, but there could be even bigger ones at certain spots if some key unrestricted free agents don't come back.
One piece of this puzzle in free agency can change what is the best direction to take in the draft. They are intertwined.
Free agency begins March 12. Those decisions should be clear before April 25, the first day of the draft.
The Lions have several core players hitting free agency right now, and there appear to be just as many options of similar value in the draft.
It's likely to turn the next few weeks into a frenzy of speculation, possibly ending in an extreme roster makeover.
With salary-cap limitations and not knowing which free agents will receive lucrative offers from other teams, it's difficult to project what veterans are going to return.
And then there's the draft, which ...