While the Detroit Lions did part ways with one talented interior offensive linemen, they gave his former double team partner a well-deserved raise.
One of the issues that has plagued the Detroit Lions over the last ten years is the inconsistencies in the offensive line, as more than a few mediocre linemen have headlined this line, causing an inconsistent running game and quite a bit of scrambles out of the pocket for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Despite the historical struggles of the Detroit Lions offensive line, the literal centerpiece of it has been consistent, as former Michigan Wolverine Graham Glasgow has done a formidable job manning the middle as one of the few answers on an offense full of questions.
For his improvement in play this past season, Glasgow rightfully earned a pay raise this past Thursday, getting a performance payout of more than $400,000 for all the work he’s done in the middle of the line.
This wasn’t the only reward Glasgow earned recently, as because he was a former third round pick who has played over 35 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in his first three season, Glasgow earned a proven-performance escalator, which will allow him to be paid more once he gets out from under his rookie contract after this season.
The $432,084 dollar bonus ranks as the 13th-highest performance raise in the league, which is more than fair considering Glasgow’s ability to stay on the field, as he played in 99 percent of the Lions’ offensive snaps last season.
Not only does Glasgow play through injury and stay on the field, he does good things when he’s on the field, as this past season he was rated as the 15th best center in football according to Pro Football Focus.
Glasgow has been a great example of consistency for Detroit over his career, as after taking over for guard Laken Tomlinson in his rookie season, the linemen has only missed one offensive snap in his last two seasons in Detroit.
With the former Michigan man earning a hefty pay raise, the Lions should now focus on replacing the former pro bowl guard who played next to Glasgow for two seasons, T.J. Lang, who the team released on March 8th. The combination of Glasgow and Lang on double teams was more than adequate, producing holes up the middle and valuable cut back lanes for Lions running backs these past few seasons.
The Lions have a lot of options as to how to fill the hole left by Lang, as they have more than a few in-house replacements in Kenny Wiggins, Joe Dahl and Tyrell Crosby. They also signed a former starting guard for the Cardinals in Oday Aboushi, who will compete with the previously-mentioned players for that starting spot.
While the loss of T.J. Lang will hurt the Lions offense in the blocking department, the combination of Glasgow, guard Frank Ragnow, offensive tackles Taylor Decker and Ricky Wagner, and whoever replaces Lang can be an above-average crew, as last season the unit was rated eighth in pass blocking and eleventh in run blocking, and will look to improve upon those marks in 2019.
If this unit can continue to improve with Graham Glasgow in the middle, the possibilities for the running game could provide a new wrinkle to the Detroit Lions’ offense which fans haven’t seen in decades.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, subscribe to PFF’s EDGE or ELITE subscriptions at ProFootballFocus.com.