Detroit Lions General Manager Bob Quinn has a lot on the line with his 2020 free-agency decisions. Let’s take a look at his best and worst in Motown.
With the combine now behind us, it is now free-agency season. An underrated part of the Detroit Lions offseason as the hits a misses in free agency, depending on the contract size, length, and player attached to it, of course, can have just as much of an impact on your team’s success as the draft.
As general manager Bob Quinn goes into his fifth offseason, let’s take a look at his best and worst signings from his first four.
Best: Trey Flowers, DE
General Manager Bob Quinn had to pay a hefty price their star defensive end, five-years at $90 million to be exact. But that’s because he’s a high-end talent in one of the most important positions in football … and it’s Detroit.
Flowers still proved Quinn right here though you wouldn’t necessarily know it by just looking at his stats. Including leading the team with 7.0 sacks, 21 QB hits, 14 hurries, 14 QB knockdowns, and 35 QB pressures.
Though not far off from his career numbers you have to believe much more is possible. Detroit had almost zero talent up the middle for opposing offensive lineman to worry about, Trey saw more attention than I may have ever seen for a Lions defensive end. Double and triple-teamed.
Worst: Jesse James, TE
Poor James was probably signed to be the Lions next TE1, then boom, tight end T.J. Hockenson at eighth overall a month later.
But what worse than having some legit competition and losing out to a rookie is doing absolutely nothing about it. Quinn gushed out $22.6 million for 4-years on James and he was third out of four possible tight ends in targets in his first year totaling 16 catches for 142 yards.
Best: Tavon Wilson, S
Wilson was a re-sign in 2018, but an important one for only two-years at $7 million. To further prove it was a good signing Wilson agreed to pay-cut, essentially again, in 2019 bringing his tab to only 1 million.
Often time Tavon Wilson just looks like he knows what’s going on before any other Lions defender. Like he has four years of experience in this system in New England before his four in Detroit and knows it like the back of his hand. As the ‘box’ safety for the Lions, Wilson is moved around a lot and in an important role in Patricia’s defense while being a coach on the field.
Worst: DeShawn Shead, CB
The Lions had high hopes for Shead in Detroit … like CB2 type high hopes. Instead, it’s hard to choose between him and Mike Ford for the worst cornerback campaign for 2018.
Though the one-year, $790,000 contract wasn’t breaking the bank, it helped break the defense as the Lions had major issues at CB2 all season.
Best: T.J. Lang, RG
Though T.J. Lang’s stint in Detroit didn’t last long, he had a great 2017 in Honolulu Blue. Even representing the colors in the Pro Bowl that year. Though it came at a cost of a 3-year contract averaging out to 9.5 million per, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Injuries caught up to T.J. in 2018 forcing him into early retirement, but when on the field he was the Lions best offensive lineman more often than not.
Worst: Rick Wagner, RT
Lang’s partner at the hip there in Wagner was given the most money to be a right tackle in the league and has been one of Detroit’s worst run-blockers ever since. For reference, Pro Football Focus had Wagner as the second-lowest graded offensive lineman in 2019. Ahead of only Oday Aboushi.
Best: Marvin Jones, WR
Jones has been a starter ever since including nine touchdown receptions is two of the past three seasons.
Worst: Jeremy Kerley, WR