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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Collins is another former patriots player
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

Other Detroit Lions notable moves

Jamie Collins, LB

Probably the most significant signing of this first week of free agency is the signing of Jack linebacker, Jamie Collins. Collins has been a member of both the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots, where he was a second-round pick. Another guy who the Detroit Lions staff is familiar with, Collins is an extremely athletic 6-3, 250-pound player who can bring some needed leadership to the linebacker corps and to the Lions 31st-ranked defense.

Devon Kennard was released to make room for Collins, who is a better athlete. Collins is well versed in the style of defense that Patricia plays and his three-year, $30 million dollar contract is another that has an out after two years.

Grade: B, Collins is an upgrade, even at 30 years old, but is obviously making a hefty sum. Collins can blitz, is a good tackler, and is better in coverage than Kennard. It addresses the directive to improve the linebacker corps by Bob Quinn, most importantly.

Chase Daniel, QB

If we learned anything about the team in 2019, it was that injuries make it difficult to win games, especially if your veteran quarterback goes down. Matthew Stafford played half of a year that may have been his best in his career for eight games. After he was sidelined with injuries, the Detroit Lions floundered trying to find consistency under center.

Chase Daniel has been on several teams, lastly with the Chicago Bears, and has been a valued backup and spot starter. His $13.5 million dollar contract for three years, only has a $2 million dollar cap hit for 2020, so it isn’t prohibitive right away. The 6-0, 225-pound game manager has done a good job of being efficient when called upon, although Daniel has only started five games in his 10-year career.

Grade: B, Daniel is an insurance policy that hits 68% of his passes according to Pro Football Reference and has the experience to run an offense if called upon. Compared to the other backup options, he is a big upgrade, albeit at a higher rate of pay after 2020. A need for the present, he could be gone after one year if the Detroit Lions choose.