Pro Football Focus releases Detroit Lions free agency grade

The first round of the 2022 NFL free agency period has pretty much a wrap and as we predicted (and hoped for) on multiple occasions, the Detroit Lions did not make a big splash.

In fact, the Lions really did not do much at all in free agency other than bringing back a bunch of players that were on their roster in 2021.

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That being said, the Lions did exactly what I hoped they would do as they signed free agent WR D.J. Chark to a 1-year prove-it deal rather than overspending on a player like Allen Robinson or Mike Williams (or others).

Plenty of Lions fans have been complaining about how GM Brad Holmes has handled free agency but he has made it clear that he is interested in building his roster through the draft and not through free agency.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Lions have had an “above average” free agency period so far.

Via Pro Football Focus:

DETROIT LIONS: ABOVE AVERAGE

Additions:
Departures:

Wherever the Lions are in their rebuilding project, it doesn’t involve a massive spending spree this free agency period. They have taken calculated gambles in a few different areas but avoided spending huge money.

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Trey Flowers' release represents the cutting of ties to one of the last players the Lions did hand huge money to. Flowers enjoyed a good first season in Detroit but struggled with injuries and performance since. He played 611 snaps over the past two seasons and was especially ineffective in 2021 when on the field.

Most of Detroit’s business has been re-signing its own pieces, bringing back role players as well as starters. Linebacker Alex Anzalone played over 800 snaps for the Lions last season and posted a career-worst 35.4 overall PFF grade, but the team re-signed him and presumably expects improvement in 2022. Tracy Walker got a three-year deal from the team for $25 million, and edge rusher Charles Harris was rewarded for a bounceback to his career with a two-year contract. 

In terms of new additions, D.J. Chark Jr. is a worthwhile gamble at wide receiver. He is just 25 years old and possesses the size and speed to be a major deep threat at all times. The Lions still need to do work at receiver — likely in the draft — but Chark could prove to be a valuable part of a remade receiving corps as a deep threat.

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Nation, if you had to grade the Lions in free agency so far, what grade would you give them?

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