There’s no skirting around the subject, 2019 was an abject disaster for Bob Quinn’s men, who had the haplessness of the Redskins to thank for his team not finishing bottom of the pile in the NFC. And so with an estimated budget of between $25-30 million, according to www.detroitnews.com, to spend in the pre-season market, the Detroit Lions were well-positioned to pick up a couple of high-quality free agents before the 2020 NFL campaign gets underway.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom last season, of course. There were some passable individual performances from the likes of Matthew Stafford, whose yardage average per game was actually higher than Patrick Mahomes’ (albeit from a much smaller sample size), Kerryon Johnson and Kenny Golladay showed their talents at times when rushing and receiving and Tracy Walker and Tavon Wilson showed up with some spirited tackling amidst the mayhem.
But you can see why the Lions were so unfancied by the pundits prior to a ball being thrown, and naturally, the sportsbooks were more interested in offering odds on them picking up the NFC wooden spoon than winning the Super Bowl – you can see a list of these prices offered by the best bookies at www.sportsbettingcanada.org, where you can also read reviews of each firm and learn more about the bonuses and promotions that they offer.
The same mood of grim failure is expected this term, and it has to be said that the recruits that Quinn has brought in during the free agency window have hardly set the hearts and minds of Lions supporters ablaze.
As expected, it's the defense that has been significantly rebuilt from the ground up, but it's the size and lengths of the contracts offered that have proven to be most perplexing.
Here's a quick rundown of a few of the Lions' key free-agent signings so far:
He may be making the journey from the Philly Eagles, but Halapoulivaaati Vaitai has never once been close to being categorized as a regular starter for the 2017 Super Bowl champions.
In fact, he's started just 20 games in four seasons, and the fact he has been brought in to replace Rick Wagner – a perfectly serviceable offensive tackle – screams of a backward step, rather than the progressive approach that the Lions should be taking.
A $45 million deal, with $20 million guaranteed, for a player that could be considered a sideways step at best? That goes to show the occasional lunacy of the free-agent window.
Many Lions supporters would have been happy to see Desmond Trufant and Darius Slay tearing it up as a cornerback duo. But the reality is that Trufant was brought in to replace Slay – as evidenced by the fact that the former has signed a $21 million deal and the latter has joined the Eagles, as per https://www.espn.com.
The former Falcons man is an impressive player, make no mistake, but so too is Slay. And a variety of injuries kept Trufant to just nine appearances last season.
Again, does that sound like a progressive move forwards to you?
Sometimes, you can tell a lot about a player just by taking a look at their history.
Nick Williams has never really caught light in the NFL, and despite having only just turned 30 he has already played for the Steelers, the Chiefs, the Dolphins, and the Bears.
In six seasons as a pro, Williams has made just 44 appearances – a staggeringly low return. Why is that? $10 million is a staggering investment on a player we know very little about.
Sorry Lions fans, if you were expecting a campaign of excitement and forward progression then, based on those free agent hook-ups, you might just be disappointed.