Are the Detroit Lions building their team the right way?
Detroit Lions takeaways
Analyzing the performance of teams that have rookie-deal players, it seems like there are a few teams that it has definitely helped. The Chiefs and the Rams, in particular, seem to have found a recipe for success while others are less successful. There is no denying that a low-cap deal can help manage a roster at the league’s most expensive position.
At the same time, data suggests that it really depends on what a general manager does with the cap space that matters. Also, quite a few teams have big money quarterbacks and still field rosters that are playoff bound consistently, too. Using the Patriots as an example of a team that “underpays” its quarterback is a misnomer, as Brady has a deal worth more than $20 million per season on average.
Looking at the Lions, Stafford’s deal has not been the biggest problem in fielding a competitive team. Poor drafting, injuries to major players like end Ziggy Ansah who had a seventeen million dollar deal for this year, Jones, Lang, Tate leaving, all prevented the Detroit Lions from challenging for the division title this year more than one quarterback salary.
Holding onto a good quarterback seems to correlate more positively to long-term success than trying to change out rookie-deal quarterbacks to maintain a low cap position. The data also suggests some basic things like helping a quarterback with a run game and a defense that have good results both help a quarterback and the team and that rookie-deal teams have no monopoly on putting a team around a quarterback. Ask Tom Brady who is going for a sixth Super Bowl ring in nine appearances.
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