The Detroit Lions want buzz. It's their time of the year -- the anticipation of what they could be trumping the realization of what they are. It's the start of football shopping season, preparing for the NFL draft and free agency.

There will be the temptation, in the aftermath of yet another grossly disappointing season, to take bold chances to appease the frustrated and forlorn in the absence of actual meaningful victories. But that would be panic on the part of general manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz, both appreciative of the rather tenuous state of their job security.

When you panic, you get stung.

Reggie Bush and Charles Woodson would certainly help the Lions. They're two of the more attractive available free agents and could fill two of the Lions' bigger needs -- an elusive running and receiving weapon out of the backfield, and an aging yet still effective Pro Bowl presence in the defensive secondary.

But if they're going to overpay for any free agent, it should be for keeping one of their own -- defensive end Cliff Avril. It might tick off a lot of folks who've soured on Avril, whose only career crime was that he has played every day of his NFL career with the Lions. Those untainted always look more attractive.

If the Lions can get Bush and/or Woodson at a bargain, cap-friendly price, go for it. But they're nuts paying more than $4 million annually for either of them. It would generate some excitement the Lions hope would offset the second-half collapse in which they lost their last eight games as well as making amends for last off-season when the Lions thought their roster required nothing more than subtle tweaks.

Instead of bringing in big names, Mayhew and Schwartz will be defined this off-season more by the development of more anonymous names like Willie Young, Jason Fox, Jonte Green and Ronnell Lewis.