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2014 Lions Offseason

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Lance Moore seems like a no brainer for us to target in free agency. Reliable hands and excellent route runner out of the slot which we need. Anyone agree?

If we could sign him and draft Evans, our WR group looks good on paper. And the good thing is, Moore shouldn't cost a terrible amount so we can sign a nice safety in free agency.

Yup, agreed 100%. Either him or Meachem will be a Lion IMO.

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Priorities for the Lions as I see them:

Now that Suh has hired an agent, extend/renew his contract

Sign free agent WR - Lance Moore, Golden Tate, etc. I hope Lombardi can convince Moore to come to Detroit.

Draft best available WR at 10

Do the above 2 and you got a really good WR core. I wish Broyles could come back and contribute, but it may be a long shot given injury history.

Sign Pettigrew. A lot of fans will hate this but they need a tight end

Improve secondary by draft, free agent signing, etc.

Find a reliable kicker that will last many years like Hanson did

Edited by nd1377

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via walterfootball

3/8: "Among the teams inquiring about Browns free agent S T.J. Ward? The Lions. Detroit hopes to create cap space with a Suh deal, can spend." - Ian Rapoport

3/8: The Lions have interest in Alterraun Verner, per Jim Wyatt, Tennessean.

3/7: "Lions could go after WR Lance Moore, who expects to be cut by Saints." - Josh Katzenstein, DetroitNews.com

Edit - basically, its good to see that we seem to be interested in the top DBs.

Edited by Nastradamus

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I swear I saw on Twitter today that they have more cap space than they did last offseason, but haven't verified that. I can't imagine Moore would get too much money on the market.

The salary cap shot up this year. Every team has more cap space.

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The salary cap shot up this year. Every teamincreahas more cap space.

Not necessarily, but real question is whether increased cap equals increased contract size.

Pitta higher than I expected, but some of the other prospective numbers for true free agents has been lower than I anticipated.

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Not necessarily' date=' but real question is whether increased cap equals increased contract size.

Pitta higher than I expected, but some of the other prospective numbers for true free agents has been lower than I anticipated.[/quote']

How is that not necessarily the case? The cap went up for everyone, not just the Lions. Yes, the Lions have more money to fill holes...but so does every other team, the Lions aren't unique simply because they are your favorite team. I haven't kept track of every free agent signing but like you eluded to Pitta got a nice contract and so did Sam Shields so I'm not sure if free agents will be on the cheap, and even if they were we still have less cap space than many playoff caliber teams. For example, say we restructure Suh's contract and save...7M for our cap we will then have around $20-23M to spend, however, the Colts, Dolphins, Broncos, Packers, Bengals, and Eagles will still have more money available to spend and less holes to fill throughout the offseason.

I know it's easy to think about how this team would look a lot better with a free agent WR, TE, and/or S but you have to remember that other teams will be filling holes too. The Seahawks will have at least $14M in money to spend this offseason, imagine them with a better OL, an additional receiving threat (they could use a slot receiver to go along with a healthy Harvin), and an additional TE. That would be a significantly more impressive team than the Lions...and I'm not even sure the Seahawks are going to be the best team going into 2014/15. The Lions are in win-now mode and simply don't look to have the talent to compete with the top 10 teams, I don't think one offseason (and cap increase) is going to bridge the gap.

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How is that not necessarily the case? The cap went up for everyone, not just the Lions. Yes, the Lions have more money to fill holes...but so does every other team, the Lions aren't unique simply because they are your favorite team.

Basic math and budgeting.

If I have $123 to spend, and I have spent $100, I have $23 to spend. If my budget is increased to $133 but im already obligated for $130, I only have $3 to spend. The Bears have less cap room now than a year ago, I believe.

I haven't kept track of every free agent signing but like you eluded to Pitta got a nice contract and so did Sam Shields so I'm not sure if free agents will be on the cheap, and even if they were we still have less cap space than many playoff caliber teams. For example, say we restructure Suh's contract and save...7M for our cap we will then have around $20-23M to spend, however, the Colts, Dolphins, Broncos, Packers, Bengals, and Eagles will still have more money available to spend and less holes to fill throughout the offseason.

I know it's easy to think about how this team would look a lot better with a free agent WR, TE, and/or S but you have to remember that other teams will be filling holes too.

Luckily im not a big proponent of going big in free agency. Would be happy with a 2nd tier safety like Clemons and a post-draft receiver signing.

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Basic math and budgeting.

If I have $123 to spend' date=' and I have spent $100, I have $23 to spend. If my budget is increased to $133 but im already obligated for $130, I only have $3 to spend. The Bears have less cap room now than a year ago, I believe. [/quote']

That makes no sense. In your scenario, the Bears were obligated for 130 when the budget was 123. So they had -7 to spend. Now they have +3 to spend. +3 is greater than -7.

The cap went up for everyone, so everyone has more money. Whether that means they are less over the cap, or have more money under the cap, they all have more money than they did before the cap was raised.

2/3 of the league has more available cap room than the Lions. If the Lions re-do Suh's deal, they will have some more money to spend this year. But free agency has already started, so most of the players worthy of breaking the bank will already be gone by the time Suh re-does his deal, if he does it.

I haven't kept track of every free agent signing but like you eluded to Pitta got a nice contract and so did Sam Shields so I'm not sure if free agents will be on the cheap, and even if they were we still have less cap space than many playoff caliber teams. For example, say we restructure Suh's contract and save...7M for our cap we will then have around $20-23M to spend, however, the Colts, Dolphins, Broncos, Packers, Bengals, and Eagles will still have more money available to spend and less holes to fill throughout the offseason.

There is more money to spend so free agents will be getting more money. It's not rocket science.

Luckily im not a big proponent of going big in free agency. Would be happy with a 2nd tier safety like Clemons and a post-draft receiver signing.

As Lions fans we are all used to dreaming small...and having those small dreams shattered. 2nd tier free agents are getting what first tier free agents were getting last year (because there is more money to spend). The Lions will re-sign their own guys and grab a couple guys to fill holes. But no top players. They can't afford them.

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[buddha;3049406]That makes no sense. In your scenario, the Bears were obligated for 130 when the budget was 123. So they had -7 to spend. Now they have +3 to spend. +3 is greater than -7.

The cap went up for everyone, so everyone has more money. Whether that means they are less over the cap, or have more money under the cap, they all have more money than they did before the cap was raised.

2/3 of the league has more available cap room than the Lions. If the Lions re-do Suh's deal, they will have some more money to spend this year. But free agency has already started, so most of the players worthy of breaking the bank will already be gone by the time Suh re-does his deal, if he does it.

We clearly are having some sort of miscommunication because I know you grasp something as basic as teams obligations changing from 2013 to 2014, which was the point I was making. The total cap number increasing $320 million across does not mean every team necessarily has $10 million more this year than last do to previous obligations. Again, teams like the Bears and Cowboys are entering free agency with less cap space now than last year.

And the fact that 2/3rds of the teams have more cap kinda misses the point since the Lions are almost always at the top of the league in spending. 2/3rds of those 2/3rds are unlikely to be major free agent players, even with cap room, for various reasons.

There is more money to spend so free agents will be getting more money. Its not rocket science.

The cap increased from 2012-2013, free agent contracts shrank.

As Lions fans we are all used to dreaming small...and having those small dreams shattered. 2nd tier free agents are getting what first tier free agents were getting last year (because there is more money to spend). The Lions will re-sign their own guys and grab a couple guys to fill holes. But no top players. They can't afford them.

This is ridiculous woe is Lions garbage. The Lions have been aggressive free agent players for years, in spite of being limited in cap due to CJ, Stafford and Suh.

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You're missing the point.

The Bears had those obligations REGARDLESS of whether the cap went up. The fact that the cap went up means they have more cap space than before the cap went up.

You're either trying to be really clever or being intentionally obtuse.

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The salary cap is higher...not every team will be in a position to put that increase to use on FA's as their existing financial obligations may be greater than those of their peers.

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That makes no sense. In your scenario' date=' the Bears were obligated for 130 when the budget was 123. So they had -7 to spend. Now they have +3 to spend. +3 is greater than -7.

The cap went up for everyone, so everyone has more money. Whether that means they are less over the cap, or have more money under the cap, they all have more money than they did before the cap was raised.

2/3 of the league has more available cap room than the Lions. If the Lions re-do Suh's deal, they will have some more money to spend this year. But free agency has already started, so most of the players worthy of breaking the bank will already be gone by the time Suh re-does his deal, if he does it.

We clearly are having some sort of miscommunication because I know you grasp something as basic as teams obligations changing from 2013 to 2014, which was the point I was making. The total cap number increasing $320 million across does not mean every team necessarily has $10 million more this year than last do to previous obligations. Again, teams like the Bears and Cowboys are entering free agency with less cap space now than last year.

And the fact that 2/3rds of the teams have more cap kinda misses the point since the Lions are almost always at the top of the league in spending. 2/3rds of those 2/3rds are unlikely to be major free agent players, even with cap room, for various reasons.

The cap increased from 2012-2013, free agent contracts shrank.

As Lions fans we are all used to dreaming small...and having those small dreams shattered. 2nd tier free agents are getting what first tier free agents were getting last year (because there is more money to spend). The Lions will re-sign their own guys and grab a couple guys to fill holes. But no top players. They can't afford them.

This is ridiculous woe is Lions garbage. The Lions have been aggressive free agent players for years, in spite of being limited in cap due to CJ, Stafford and Suh.[/quote']

So what exactly is the point you are making? The Bears and Cowboys are in worse financial situations than the Lions...so what? Should we applaud the fact that we don't have the WORST salary cap situation in the league? That hardly seems like an accomplishment. There are still a multitude of playoff caliber teams who have less holes to fill, more cap space, and not such a (seemingly) short window of opportunity. How many more years will Calvin be the greatest receiver in the league? How long will we be able to keep Suh and Fairley? Suh, Stafford, and Calvin will all get raises in the coming years and our cap situation will get worse with each subsequent season. By 2016 Stafford and Calvin will have a combined cap hit of $46.5M. The Lions front office has backed themselves into a corner, they created a scenario where they are in win now mode, without the necessary pieces to win now, and if they don't do something soon we will be the Cowboys needing to restructure players every year just to get under the cap.

And the Lions have only been aggressive in free agency because their drafting has been so bad they have needed to use free agency to fill a multiple holes throughout the years. What Buddha said remains true, we don't typically go for top tier free agents unless you are counting Reggie Bush...can you name me one other top tier free agent that we have signed in the last...5 years?

Edited by EchO

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So what exactly is the point you are making?

My point was simply that simply because the salary cap increased substantially, it doesn't mean all teams are in better shape in 2014 than 2013. It was a minor point of correction.

There are still a multitude of playoff caliber teams who have less holes to fill, more cap space, and not such a (seemingly) short window of opportunity. How many more years will Calvin be the greatest receiver in the league? How long will we be able to keep Suh and Fairley? Suh, Stafford, and Calvin will all get raises in the coming years and our cap situation will get worse with each subsequent season. By 2016 Stafford and Calvin will have a combined cap hit of $46.5M. The Lions front office has backed themselves into a corner, they created a scenario where they are in win now mode, without the necessary pieces to win now, and if they don't do something soon we will be the Cowboys needing to restructure players every year just to get under the cap.

Only correct points here are that Id bet against Suh and Fairly staying together (someone will over pay) andStafford and Megatron are likely to receive deals with higher $ per year.

And the Lions have only been aggressive in free agency because their drafting has been so bad they have needed to use free agency to fill a multiple holes throughout the years. What Buddha said remains true, we don't typically go for top tier free agents unless you are counting Reggie Bush...can you name me one other top tier free agent that we have signed in the last...5 years?

Define top tier free agents. I evaluate on contract value, not name hype. Quin is a great example last year.

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I find it interesting that EchO was so critical of my suggestion that we focus on surrounded Stafford with young offensive playmakers, but suggests that biggest limit to Lions "window" is Megatron aging.

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My point was simply that simply because the salary cap increased substantially' date=' it doesn't mean all teams are in better shape in 2014 than 2013. It was a minor point of correction.

Only correct points here are that Id bet against Suh and Fairly staying together (someone will over pay) andStafford and Megatron are likely to receive deals with higher $ per year.

Define top tier free agents. I evaluate on contract value, not name hype. Quin is a great example last year.[/quote']

You consider Quin a top tier talent/free agent? I can't imagine anyone ranking him as greater than the 14th-16th best safety in the league (which would make him right around average). Buddha said we don't go after top tier guys (we will say that those are the top 10 at their position), you said that he was wrong, I asked you to give some examples and the best you can come up with is a league average safety making, on average, $4M a year? Just to make sure I wasn't crazy here is at least one source of safety rankings.

Advanced NFL Stats Player Statistics

Quin is listed as #15, exactly where I thought he would be and definitely should be considered a second tier free agent, which would directly contradict your point.

It isn't simply that Johnson will decline in skill, it is also that he will increase in cost. And don't twist what I said, I ALWAYS said that we should get one (or two) WR this offseason and sign a TE...what I was disagreeing with is using our best three assets on WR/TE when we have so many other holes to fill. The fact that no team in recent history has done what you are suggesting and every team with a history of recent success has done what I was suggesting makes me think that my plan on not focusing our top 3 draft picks on WR/TE is the right course of action. You have done nothing to convince me that your plan of action is what will lead us to an extended playoff run.

Edit: An example of a top tier FA would be someone like T.J. Ward (to continue to use safeties as an example), he is a player that has progressed every year and now he is ranked as a top 3-5 safety and will be one of the most sought after and the highest paid safety this year.

Edited by EchO

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Top 16 safety really breaks down to Quin being roughly a top 8 strong safety. Overall though I'd say 2nd tier FA is probably the best way to put it

We've supposedly inquired on both Verner and Ward, so I wouldn't say we aren't looking at high end FAs. I don't think Suh is going to change what we do as much as people think. If they don't get it done, they can still spend on a big money free agent and take a small cap hit in year one and an inflated(and guaranteed) hit in 2015. Instead of converting Suh's salary this year into signing bonus, you absorb most of the hit this year(maybe using it to clear room for draft picks and emergency signings) and give him a small hit in 2015. Or no hit if he walks. Either way, its no different than if we get the contract done right this second. Its not as urgent a matter as people make it out to be.

Edited by Nastradamus

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What other safeties that were free agents would you have preferred over Quin?

That isn't what I am arguing, I was simply agreeing with Buddha that we don't typically go for/can afford top tier FA. Norman disagreed by saying, "This is ridiculous woe is Lions garbage. The Lions have been aggressive free agent players for years, in spite of being limited in cap due to CJ, Stafford and Suh." I asked him to provide examples of top tier FA that we have signed in the last 5 years (because that is what Buddha was talking about) and he responded with Glover Quin. I don't consider Glover Quin a big name FA, nor do I consider him a top tier FA. It isn't that I don't consider Quin a decent player, he is the best safety the Lions have had in a while, what I don't consider Quin is a top tier big name FA. I'm still waiting for Norman to provide me with a list of big name FA (outside of Bush...who I don't think anyone even offered a contract to) over the last five years.

Top 16 safety really breaks down to Quin being roughly a top 8 strong safety. Overall though I'd say 2nd tier FA is probably the best way to put it

We've supposedly inquired on both Verner and Ward, so I wouldn't say we aren't looking at high end FAs. I don't think Suh is going to change what we do as much as people think. If they don't get it done, they can still spend on a big money free agent and take a small cap hit in year one and an inflated(and guaranteed) hit in 2015. Instead of converting Suh's salary this year into signing bonus, you absorb most of the hit this year(maybe using it to clear room for draft picks and emergency signings) and give him a small hit in 2015. Or no hit if he walks. Either way, its no different than if we get the contract done right this second. Its not as urgent a matter as people make it out to be.

To be fair, when we signed Quin he was ranked the 30th safety which as you (rightly) alluded to would probably put him in the top 15 or so range which would show that he has improved (which is great) but also proves that at the time of the signing he wasn't a "top tier" FA which is what started this whole debate. And I definitely didn't say that we don't at least look at top tier FA, it just isn't very often that we actually sign them. The issue I have with signing bigger name FA now and use a back loaded contract is that is exactly what the Cowboys have done since the uncapped year in 2010 now they have so many players with these backloaded contracts biting them in the ***. You have to remember, Stafford and Johnson will be going up quite rapidly the next few years, if we resign Suh you can mark him down for at least $13-15M cap hit per year (those three would account for roughly $61M in 2016)...if we add other big names that have backloaded contracts our cap situation in 2016-17 will be Cowboy's-esque. Which begs the question, do you (potentially) mortgage our future to try and win now, do you think we have enough pieces that we can legitimately contend for a Super Bowl over the next 1-3 years?

Edited by EchO

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You are misunderstanding what I meant by backloaded. I'm simply saying that either this year or next, we are going to lower Suh's cap hit and use that money on someone else. It doesn't matter if we sign his extension this week or in a month in terms of creating cap space.

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That isn't what I am arguing, I was simply agreeing with Buddha that we don't typically go for/can afford top tier FA. Norman disagreed by saying, "This is ridiculous woe is Lions garbage. The Lions have been aggressive free agent players for years, in spite of being limited in cap due to CJ, Stafford and Suh." I asked him to provide examples of top tier FA that we have signed in the last 5 years (because that is what Buddha was talking about) and he responded with Glover Quin. I don't consider Glover Quin a big name FA, nor do I consider him a top tier FA. It isn't that I don't consider Quin a decent player, he is the best safety the Lions have had in a while, what I don't consider Quin is a top tier big name FA. I'm still waiting for Norman to provide me with a list of big name FA (outside of Bush...who I don't think anyone even offered a contract to) over the last five years.

My apologies I see that now. I'll pretend I was tired!

I think it is a good sign that they signed the top (one of the top?) safeties available when it was a need, at least. I believe PFF had Quin as their 11th rated safety last year (I looked it up the other night when trying to see their grades on the FA that signed).

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I would also prefer they not restructure Suh's contract.

I disagree. It should be restructured, and he should be signed.

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