Detroit Lions: Bob Quinn must establish moratorium on wins

Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /


Being in the middle gets you nothing in the NFL.

And picking at the top doesn’t kill franchises the way it used to – which was changed with the 2011 rookie salary cap. Since that cap has been established, Detroit has only picked in the Top 5 once – defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, 2013 NFL Draft, Pick #5.

While Ansah has been oft injured, and his “franchise tag” salary this year exceeds his production, he has not killed the franchise with his contract. And Detroit can move on after this year without any negative implications on their cap.

Ansah is a breeze compared to previous high picks like defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (2010, Pick #2) and wide receiver Calvin Johnson (2007, Pick #2), who had money on the cap well after leaving the team because of outrageous salaries.

At least those guys were good – let’s go back even further to quarterback Joey Harrington (2002, Pick #3) and wide receiver Charles Rogers (2003, Pick #2). Those two picks doomed general manager Matt Millen. Although, he did keep getting extensions, so maybe those picks turned out quite well.

The same goes for quarterback Matthew Stafford (2009, Pick #1). But the Detroit Lions extended him with a lucrative deal, which can only mean they were happy to do so. Basically, Detroit chose to keep Stafford around, so they have to deal with the pressure his contract puts on the rest of the roster.

Because Stafford is paid so much, free agency is tougher (less money to spend) and the team needs to count on young talent via the draft – and finding rookie free agent gems as well. Management chose that path, so use a higher pick in 2019 to make that path easier.

If the Detroit Lions want to start winning, the first step is losing the rest of this year. Then it is up to Quinn and Patricia to keep the right guys, get rid of the guys that don’t fit or can’t contribute, and most importantly acquire new talent via the draft and post-draft.

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It is time for an overhaul. No more excuses or half measures. The only path for Quinn is to choose next year’s roster wisely. If he does not, and this team suffers another embarrassment like 2018, then Detroit may be looking at another change in the front office. Quinn’s best chance is a ‘moratorium on wins.’ That’s a fancy way of saying to players and coaches: ‘don’t win any more games.’