Detroit Lions: What have we learned from free agency?
By Robert Jones
Those former Patriot boys didn’t let up with those nice additions at positions of need on the defense. They decided to get a couple of needs filled for the passing game as well. They signed the best tight end on the market. Jesse James and his 6-foot-7 frame will now be running routes in the motor city and oh yeah, he’s also a pretty good blocker.
And last, but still probably least, there was the signing of slot receiver Danny Amendola. This was the one veteran they brought into the fold. The 34-year-old former Dolphin had a down season last year but had been productive in New England before that.
Just like Trey Flowers and Justin Coleman before becoming a Seahawk. Notice the pattern here?
Outside of Jesse James, the other three major free agent signings were all players that had been a Patriot at one point or another. But before we start talking about getting New England’s factory rejects we need to remember this; not only are these players that Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia believe will contribute to the Lions success (if such a thing is possible) next season, they are also needed locker room leaders to help the culture change that Patricia is desperately trying to create.
What Quinn and Patricia are trying to do is police the roster with players that are good examples to their teammates and have Patricia’s back as well. When you consider the drastic change in culture that the Lions want and need to make, this is absolutely reasonable.
Now I realize we have many fans doing the old, ‘I don’t want to see the Lions sign another former Patriot again.’ Yeah, I get that. But we need to keep two points mind, the first is that the Patriots castoffs are generally capable of being productive if properly used.
The second is that if the Lions can actually change their culture, they won’t need to keep going back to the well because they will be able to perpetuate their own culture. At least for a little while.
So we should at least give Bob and Matt a hearty golf clap for their efforts, if not some downright praise for what they have accomplished so far.
But this does lead us to the payoff; how will all this activity affect the Lions decision making in the draft?