1 free agency move from each NFC North rival Lions fans can laugh at

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

The Detroit Lions have had a measured, calculated and pretty successful run in 2024 free agency. The secondary waves of signings may offer some opportunities. The players gains have been solid, with needs filled, and the players who have been lost ultimately don't look likely to be impactful.

The Lions can look around the NFL North and see a lot of notable things that have happened to the their division rivals in free agency. Notable players gone? Check, for all three. Questionable decisions to sign/pay/not pay players? Sure thing. Which isn't to say the Vikings. Packers and Bears have roundly failed so far this offseason, there are just moves that can make you go "hmm", or maybe even laugh.

With that in mind, here is one move in free agency from the each of other NFC North teams that Lions' fans can (and should?) laugh at.

1 free agent move from the each of the other NFC North teams Lions fans can laugh at

3. Vikings giving Blake Brandel what looks like starter-level money

Brandel was drafted in the sixth round by the Vikings in 2020, sticking on the practice squad that. Over the last three years, he has played minimally while splitting the work he has gotten as an extra tight end, at left tackle or at right guard (per Pro Football Focus.

Minnesota re-signed Brandel as free agency started, and it was a...noticeably good contract for someone of his ilk.

That prompted Warren Ludford of Daily Norseman to wonder if the Vikings are planning on starting Brandel, with further data to back up the point. They have a void at left guard, with Dalton Risner not yet-resigned, and right guard Ed Ingram is absolutely replaceable if they can find a way to do it. In theory, Brandel would be a better fit for right guard, a spot he has actually played, and they just gave him a contract that says he's not going to be a backup.

Brandel's Pro Football Focus pass blocking grades have mostly been quite good when he's gotten a change to play. But it's a stretch to project him as a starter, with just over 500 offensive snaps in his career, and unless something really changes it looks like that's what the Vikings are doing.