Grading the Detroit Lions early free agency moves

Bob Quinn, Detroit Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Bob Quinn, Detroit Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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General manager Bob Quinn of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Bob Quinn
General manager Bob Quinn of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Bob Quinn /

After one week of free agency, the Detroit Lions have made a flurry of moves that we are going to grade to see if we are moving towards playoff contention.

The free agency period started unofficially on Monday for the Detroit Lions and across the NFL, where the tampering period allowed teams and players to discuss contracts for 2020 and beyond.

Contracts could not be finalized prior to Wednesday afternoon but this week saw the Lions’ vice president-general manager Bob Quinn make some moves to restock the roster amid the flurry of activity that saw unusual scrutiny due to other sports being on hiatus.

Today, we’ll look at the Lions’ moves and grade how they’ve started the free agency period and where that leaves the team going into the NFL Draft. Kick In The Crotch Weekly, named for many Lions’ fans experiences, has been watching moves happen in real-time so that you don’t have to. Let’s start off with who moved that affected the Lions.

Last week, we discussed that the Detroit Lions roster and early year momentum looked bleak, especially against the backdrop of coming off of two losing seasons and an ultimatum from ownership that seemed to indicate that Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia needed to be playing meaningful games in December.

We said that to improve that outlook, the Detroit Lions needed a good free agency period to fill some holes, add some talent, and that might help fans feel like the Lions are making a move towards being a playoff contender.

Lions fans have been the definition of long-suffering and deserve to have a front office that can build a consistent winner. Quinn and Patricia left Foxboro, Massachusetts, and the New England Patriots organization with the hope that they could replicate some of the success that earned them several Lombardi Trophies during their tenures there.

Bob Quinn let go of several members of the team while bringing in the newest members. Tackle Rick Wagner was released and was almost immediately picked up by division rivals, the Green Bay Packers. Damon Harrison, a defensive tackle, was released in February, and this week quarterback Kyle Sloter and safety A.J. Howard joined him in their own exodus.

The big move on the mind of every Detroit Lions fan’s mind was the trade that moved Pro-Bowl cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third-round and a fifth-round pick. Slay joined several other former Lions who expressed frustration at the organization and at Matt Patricia’s coaching style.

Detroit also lost guard-center Graham Glasgow officially, as he signed a deal to become a member of the Denver Broncos; Glasgow signed a four-year, $44 million dollar deal after being the most consistent member of the Lions line over the past three years.