This week, the Detroit Lions have their first chance to retool a roster that whimpered to a 3-12-1 finish. Which positions need the most attention?
If you only win three games in an NFL season, then obviously there are some personnel issues to address during the offseason. With negotiations started and free agent signings becoming official this week, here is the first opportunity for the Detroit Lions to again attempt to solve the puzzle for building a contending team; one that us title-starved fans can take pride in on a consistent basis.
While my opinion is that the draft is a far more likely path to sustaining success than free agency (see: the 2019 Cleveland Browns), this week can provide some quick fixes at positions of immediate need. Say what you will about the Lions’ front office, but more often than not over the past decade, they’ve found at least one instant impact player using this route (Kyle Vanden Bosch, Stephen Tulloch, Reggie Bush, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones. Jr, Trey Flowers).
For this post, I’m rating each Lions positional group on a scale of 1-10 based on immediate need for a new starter, as well as the need for additional overall depth at the position. One means that the position is completely set and no resources at all should be used for it, while nine or ten means free agency and/or draft moves are absolutely necessary.
I’ve added my own quick thoughts about the current situation for each spot, as well as what I’ll call a ‘gentle suggestion’ for Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia regarding each position. I also included a listing of every Lions player (who saw any regular season action in 2019) who is currently under contract.
Shoutout to Lyle Graverson at the Arrowhead Addict site for the format idea. Surprisingly, the Super Bowl champion Chiefs have fewer leaks to plug this year than our guys over in Allen Park.
Note: The Lions have reportedly signed former Chicago Bears quarterback Chase Daniel to a three-year, $13.05 million contract per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Need for a starter: 5* (In reality, this is like a 1 or 2, but some people refuse to be convinced that Stafford is really good. Also, his back injuries and overall wear and tear do make me pause just for a second)
Need for depth: 10
My two cents: Last year’s strategy was “Stafford hasn’t missed a game in eight years, so let’s not even bother finding an NFL caliber player in either of the backup spots.” That strategy proved unsuccessful.
Gentle suggestion(s): This is the most quarterback-heavy free agency period in my lifetime, meaning that a very capable 3rd string veteran can be had for a bargain. I suggest Drew Stanton for a reliable guy who has experience in Detroit and with Stafford, or Trevor Siemian for a younger guy that you can run a similar offense with. Find the 2nd stringer fairly early in the draft.