The Detroit Lions admit defeat, and have finally waived former first round selection Greg Robinson after trading for him earlier this year.
Under general manager Bob Quinn, the Detroit Lions front office has been seen by many as making a significant turnaround under his leadership. Since joining the Lions in January of 2016, Quinn has orchestrated several positive moves that have the team in a favorable position again this season.
Players like wide receiver Marvin Jones, safety Tavon Wilson, left tackle Taylor Decker and rookie linebacker Jarrad Davis have all been acquired under Quinn’s watch. And all are seen as key pieces to the continued success of the franchise.
But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some missteps. And this season’s group of free agents and rookies might have some wondering if the team is actually heading in the right direction.
The Lions’ two biggest free agent signings, right guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Ricky Wagner, have struggled in their first season in the Motor City. Detroit’s second round selection, cornerback Teez Tabor, has been a healthy scratch for five games already, logging a total of just 14 defensive snaps so far.
The latest front office misstep could be the trade for left tackle Greg Robinson. Following a shoulder injury suffered by Decker back in June (the second-year lineman tore the labrum in his right shoulder during OTA’s), Detroit’s front office scrambled to find his temporary replacement. They did so by trading a future 2018 sixth round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for Robinson.
Detroit also signed tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, a former second selection by the Buffalo Bills in 2014. Kouandjio didn’t make it past final cuts, and Robinson assumed the starting left tackle role in Detroit.
After some initial success, Robinson’s play soon started to fall apart. Now, the 25-year old, and former number two overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, has been waived/injured by the Lions. Robinson suffered an ankle injury that had him sidelined for the past two games. Prior to that, the young lineman’s performance this season ranked him 71st out of 78 eligible players at his position according to Pro Football Focus (via NFL.com).
Although there is a chance Decker returns for this weekend’s matchup against the winless Cleveland Browns, the Lions seem to be prepared to start Brian Mihalik at left tackle if he is not. But Detroit is certainly done with the Greg Robinson experiment.
Although it was always considered a temporary solution, Robinson’s release is just the latest in a recent string of moves by Bob Quinn and this Detroit Lions’ front office that can be considered steps in the wrong direction for this franchise.