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Lions' decisions on Carpenter, Rayner ones to watch

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Posted July 21, 2011 @ 12:37 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The majority of the Lions' core players are under contract for 2011, but Detroit is still left with some interesting decisions in free agency, ones that could signal position battles to come. For instance, should the Lions re-sign Bobby Carpenter, who has five years of experience and could be an unrestricted free agent, he very well could compete for a starting job at outside linebacker, depending upon the Lions' other free-agent moves, a daily team observer told PFW. Two of Carpenter's seven career starts came in the final three games of last season with Detroit. Another notable Lions free agent: PK Dave Rayner, who has four years of service to his credit. Rayner, whom the Lions tendered as a restricted free agent before the lockout, connected on 13-of-16 field-goal attempts a season ago, and opponents gained just 20 yards on his 34 kickoffs. If he's back with the Lions, he'll push Jason Hanson, who turned 41 in June. Both Rayner and Carpenter struggled with other clubs before joining Detroit and showing some promise in 2010.

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