Detroit Lions: 15 best free agent acquisitions of all-time
By Brad Weiss
The Detroit Lions were established in 1930. Since then, they have brought in some big-name free agents. Here are the top-15 in team history.
The Detroit Lions have been in existence since 1930. While they have enjoyed a long history in Motown, they actually started in Ohio as the Portsmouth Spartans. The Spartans joined the NFL for that 1930 season, and stayed in Ohio until 1934, when the town became too small to back an NFL team.
Enter Detroit, where the Lions have been ever since. It did not take long for them to make their mark on the NFL after moving the Motor City. In fact, the now-Lions won the 1935 NFL Championship, their first of four titles before the AFL-NFL merger, though they have not won another one since.
In team history, Detroit has been to the playoffs 17 times, including their most recent run back in 2016. One of the dominant teams of the 1950s, Detroit won three of their four titles during that decade. The hope is that Matthew Stafford can lead this current era of Lions football back to being a perennial playoff team.
Throughout their history, Detroit has signed some big-name free agents, and made some big splashes via the trade, including Dick “Night Train” Lane. Had he been signed as a free agent, he would have fought for the top spot in our rankings, which we kick off at No. 15 with a former USC running back who was once considered one of the best college players of all-time.
During his time as a member of the USC Trojans, Reggie Bush became one of the biggest names in sports. Leading the team to win after win, Bush would come away with the Heisman Trophy after the 2005 season, but he saw all of his efforts at the school washed away during an NCAA investigation.
Still, despite the fact his likeness will not be found on campus, you cannot erase the memories of what he did at the school. His prowess on the field led him to be the No. 2 overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, where he played for five years.
After a two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins, Bush made his way to Detroit, where he played for the Lions for two seasons as well. During his time with the Lions, Bush had a prolific first season with the team, rushing for over 1,000 yards, while also adding over 500 yards receiving on over 50 catches.
His stint was not long, but it showed that the team could go out and sign big-time free agents. Bush ended his career with the Buffalo Bills back in 2016. Overall, he never quite reached his full potential in the NFL due to injuries. He did win a Super Bowl with the Saints. His run in Detroit, although short, gave the fans some exciting moments.