Zachary Orr, the former North Texas linebacker, initially went undrafted but eventually signed with the Baltimore Ravens. He made the roster his first season, mainly playing on special teams. In his second season, he played a little more on defense but still played primarily on special teams. Last year he won the other starting middle linebacker job next to C.J. Mosley where he recorded the most tackles on the team despite missing a full game.
Earlier this year, Raven’s fans and NFL fans were shocked when Zach Orr announced his retirement. Orr was coming off of an impressive season in which he totaled 132 tackles along with three interceptions. He was expected to receive a payday as his rookie deal had expired.
Orr was meeting with a physician who was treating his shoulder injury. Orr had been playing with a cracked bone in his shoulder for the later part of the year. He was told that his C1 which is part of the vertebrae was not fully formed, which put him at a higher risk for paralyzation.
After meeting with the physician who advised him of retirement citing his C1, he went out and found a different doctor. The new doctor believed that Orr would be able to play because players have played while not having a fully formed C1.
If the Detriot Lion’s were able to sign Zachary Orr, the linebacking core would go from a below average to potentially above average by the season end. They would have him start at strong side linebacker while having Davis at middle linebacker and a battle for the weakside outside linebacker spot between Tahir Whitehead and Antwione Williams.
The Lions were one of the first teams that reached out to Orr after he announced that he would be trying to make a comeback. One of the main concerns about Orr would ever be able to pass a physical again. According to Orr’s agent, “Everything looks great,” when mentioning how the physical had gone.
If the Lions are able to sign Zachary Orr to an incentive laden type of deal, this could be a great acquisition. However, this is a boom or bust type of deal as Orr would have to move to outside linebacker and join a 4-3 type defense from the Raven’s 3-4 defense. Orr would not only help the linebacking core but he would also help the entire defense by relieving pressure from the defensive line and cornerbacks. Orr has said that he would like to meet with as many teams as he could before he signs a deal with a team.