As 2022 free agency nears, here are the five best free agent signings in Detroit Lions history.
The NFL has had full-fledged free agency as we know it since after the 1992 season. Before that, from 1989-1992, there was a thing called “Plan B Free Agency”, which essentially made a chunk of 37 protected players on each team restricted free agents as we would define it now.
The Detroit Lions have certainly made a lot of mistakes when it comes to roster moves over the last few decades, in free agency, the draft, trades, etc. General manager Brad Holmes signed players to a bunch of one-year deals last offseason, his first in the job, but a bit more aggressiveness could be coming this offseason. The key will be balancing some aggression with continuing to build out the roster in a responsible way.
Focusing on the last three decades or so of free agency, and Plan B free agency before that if warranted–let’s call it modern free agency to be more concise–here are the five best free agent signings the Detroit Lions have ever made.
Detroit Lions: 5 all-time best free agent signings
5. CB Dre’ Bly
Bly brought a Super Bowl ring as a Rams’ rookie in 1999 with him to Detroit in 2003. In four seasons with the Lions, he made the Pro Bowl twice (as a starter both times) and was a certified ball hawk (19 interceptions, five fumble recoveries, three defensive touchdowns).
The Lions timed trading Bly to the Denver Broncos well, as he fell off after. But they got his best years as one of the more aggressive corners in the league, and for that he starts this list.