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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New Lions tackle
(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions sign offensive tackle

Quinn went after Philadelphia Eagles swing tackle, Halapoulivaati “Big V” Vaitai to compete presumably at right tackle and to replace Wagner. Vaitai has experience playing both tackle spots, though, and has played a small amount of guard, as well. Quinn loves versatile players and paid a total of $50 million dollars to have the services of the 26-year-old lineman for five years.

The 6-foot-6, 320-pound offensive lineman, profile information from the Draft Scout website here, has started 20 games in his career for the Eagles in his four-year career, according to Pro Football Reference. Notably, he also started four playoff games for the Eagles in which he played all of the snaps, too, including their run to an NFL title in 2017.

Free-agent grade

Although this is a high cost for a backup player, Vaitai is a young swing tackle with some starting experience. Rick Wagner has been less than great for the past two years, so grabbing Vaitai lessens the need to draft a tackle right away. Additionally, the contract is front-loaded to allow the team to move on in two years if he isn’t working out.

The Detroit Lions have Tyrell Crosby already and could let the two men battle for the starting job; with Crosby on a rookie deal, they can afford to bring in a versatile option at tackle, which they need some depth at, regardless.

Grade: C+, higher cost than you’d like to see Quinn pay for the 22nd-ranked tackle but it addresses a need and doesn’t break the bank. His grades indicate that he could improve the run game, a big concern for the Detroit Lions right now under offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell. For comparison, Jack Conklin, one of the top couple tackle free-agents, got a three-year, $42 million dollar deal from the Cleveland Browns and factors into this grade, too.