The Detroit Lions are keeping the pipeline with the New England Patriots wide open. Of course, they're lead by former Patriots director of pro-scouting in Bob Quinn as well as former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. But New England has plenty of alumni on the Lions field, too.
Detroit now has fifteen – count them – fifteen former members of the Patriots on their playing squad. MassLive's Nick O'Malley put together the eyebrow raising list following Detroit's most recent acquisitions:
-WR Danny Amendola – A vital part of the passing attack from 2013-2017. He re-signed with Detroit earlier this offseason.
-DT John Atkins – Joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent during training camp in 2019.
-OL Caleb Benenoch – Joined the Patriots for a couple of weeks in 2019.
-OL Russell Bodine – The Patriots traded for Bodine before the start of the 2019 season. It didn’t work out.
-CB Justin Coleman – The Patriots scooped up Coleman twice as an undrafted rookie in 2015, briefly cutting him -before making him a big part of their defense. He’s since gone on to be one of the league’s best slot corners.
-LB Jamie Collins – After a resurgent season in New England in 2019, Collins signed with the Lions earlier this week.
-DE Trey Flowers – A fourth-round pick in 2015, Flowers went on to become one of the Patriots’ best defensive lineman and scored a huge free-agent deal heading into the 2019 season.
-DB Duron Harmon – The one-time Patriots captain was part of a surprise trade to Detroit on Wednesday.
-DT Frank Herron – A UDFA in 2018, Herron has since bounced around the league.
-DT Darius Kilgo – The Patriots picked up Kilgo off of waivers in 2016 and kept him on their practice squad until he was cut at the start of the 2017 season.
-CB Rashaan Melvin – The Patriots picked Melvin up off of Waivers in 2015 and he played a solid role on their defense down the stretch.
-LB Christian Sam – A Patriots fifth-round pick in 2018, Same spend a season in IR before being cut before the 2019 season.
-DT Danny Shelton – The Patriots traded for Shelton before the start of the 2018 season. He’s since grown into a solid run stuffer and signed with the Lions on Wednesday.
-OT Dan Skipper – The 6-foot-10 tackle spent the 2019 season in the Patriots practice squad.
-DB Tavon Wilson – A Patriots second-round pick in 2012, Wilson has been with the Lions since 2016.
It's pretty safe to say that the Lions are trying to build a winning culture in the Motor City by taking elements from the Patriots, who have been the most successful NFL team the past two decades.
– – Quotes via Nick O'Malley of MassLive Link– –