“This is going to be a player acquisition phase! All they did was recruit players from a soccer team that had three wins! What does it do ?! “
Admittedly, this is a fair question at first sight. Anyone looking to see the Detroit Lions in the NFC North, or even just in the playoffs, can’t get much encouragement early this season off-season. Detroit again recruited 15 players from last season, including Tracy Walker, EDGE Charles Harris, and wide-receiver Josh Reynolds and Caliph Raymond. Not by coincidence, some of the most talked about perspectives among Lions fans in the upcoming sketch came from these very positions – places clearly identified as places where the team can advance in last year’s lineup.
However, the fans wanted fresh blood. Third party free agent options, while they can be expensive, can seem like a quick fix for issues that need to be resolved as they are NFL prepared and talented tested.
Making some improvements in defense would help Aaron Glenn raise the group to a level of respect. A splash sign like safety, Marcus Williams could do the trick. Some believe the attack is closer to completion when it comes to rebuilding Holmes, so a broad target like Allen Robinson could feel like the finishing touch. Before you knew it, the team might have been up for a fight at NFC North, which seems to be going through a lot of construction work.
This leads to today’s question of the day …
Do you mind the lack of free agency activities in Detroit?
Not. No, and if so, it shouldn’t.
The key to assembling a winning product will always be the use of your subscription capital. I choose this sentence very carefully because the Los Angeles Rams are currently a case study in “Do NFL Teams Overestimate Draft Picks?” – and they might know something. Ultimately, however, the combination of a gifted player and a cost-controlled contract will remain the principle of team building for the foreseeable future.
The Lions were re-signed by footballers like Charles Harris and Tracy Walker as they were some of the lonely bright spots in a defense that was often patched up weekly due to injury. Josh Reynolds seemed to unlock something in Jared Goff’s play in the second half of the season, and Caliph Raymond did not back down from taking on the team’s # 1 role, despite being signed as their WR4.
Holmes has only had a chance to get one of his draft lessons in the building, but the early returns seem quite promising. This year Detroit has nine projects to choose from, and given Holmes’ experience as a former college scouting director, the project seems best suited to maximizing the value of these types, so why not wait to see how will this cookie fall apart?
It all comes down to patience, as does any remodel. The recent trend of the team turning things around when they hit rock bottom – consistently using the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals as examples – seems to be happening within three years. Lions are exactly entering the second year. For all this over-focus on all of the recent re-signatures, look back off season ago when Holmes decided not to reinstate Kenny Golladay. This move not only immediately saved the Lions tons of cap space, but also provided greater flexibility and maneuverability in the future. And that’s what all of this season’s re-signings have in common: they are short-term deals that don’t have a lasting impact on Holmes’s further options.