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Detroit Lions 2018 Free Agency

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I would probably be upset, too, if Quinn signed Sylvester Williams for 3/$16.5. But he got Williams for 1/$3.5.

Barring injury, worst case is that he adds bulk to the middle of the line. Best case is that he flourishes in Patricia’s scheme and plays his heart out for one more big multi-year contract.

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Best case is that Vea somehow falls to us at 20 (or we trade up to get him somehow... both very unlikely but, like I said: best case); and he's not forced to start every game or play every defensive snap as Williams can soak up what the team needs him to while Vea gets up to NFL speed...

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Cooter has worked with him before in 2012 in KC. Cooter was a offensive quality coach there.

That’s good. I don’t think it is a bad move, by any means, and I like having an experienced backup to challenge the young backup.

Still, it is hard not to notice that Quinn and Patricia’s strategy is a little like the Blues Brothers: “We’re getting the band back together.”

On the player side, what happens when they run out of players that have already been in their system?

On the coaching side, what happens if one of Patricia’s Syracuse crew isn’t cutting it?

Anyway, it’s too early to be worried about these possibilities. But they are the soft spots I see so far.

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Another nerdy note on "the Patriot way" and both Quinn and Patricia's MOs. 

 As we've seen with Patricia's D and even discussed on this board a bit, Patricia's defenses are often ranked rather poorly in yards allowed, but very highly in points allowed, much of this resting on the strength of his red zone defenses. This is of course, by design. 

One thing you'll notice with the guys we sign is not a lot of speed and length in the middle of the field. Not a complete absence, but its not a huge priority. This is because they're willing to let a Christian Jones, Tavon Wilson, Kilebrew or Davis get beat up a bit in coverage between the 20s. In a shortened area however, you can hide that deficiency pretty well with scheming(and also  guys like Davis and Kilebrew especially have poor long speed, but very strong short area quickness). The bigger priority becomes not allowing YAC and not allowing the run up the gut, both of which their players are tailor made for due to their size, physicality coming forward and efficient tackling. 

On the flip side, this is the main reason you see no more Ebron. They know that they may not replace his ability to help them move the ball between the 20s, but they also knew that teams too easily took him away or took advantage of his blocking when things mattered most, such as in the RZ. On the flip side, the 3 guys we got are all much better players as both blockers and receivers in the RZ. 

Third downs of course are the other situational priority. Here you can't hide the deficiencies as much, but that's why they went depth and versatility over one stud. On third downs they now have a ridiculous amount of different packages they can go to. They can go nickel with Diggs in the slot, nickel with Lawson in the slot, dime with Lawson and Shead, 3 and 4 safety looks with a mixture of box(Wilson/Killer) and coverage(Quin,Diggs,Shead) guys. You can drop into 3-4 with Kennard and Ansah as your OLBs, you can go small at LB on third downs with JRM and Killer. You have 5 edges you believe to be at least functional so they'll generate pass rush by lining up 3 ends across the line on clear passing downs, etc. I think the flexibility of this defense, especially given the mind running it, is severely underrated. 

 

Yah, yah, I'm a Lions slappy and all our players suck...

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...this is the main reason you see no more Ebron. They know that they may not replace his ability to help them move the ball between the 20s, but they also knew that teams too easily took him away or took advantage of his blocking when things mattered most, such as in the RZ.

Exactly right.
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37 minutes ago, Nastradamus said:

... 

Yah, yah, I'm a Lions slappy and all our players suck...

No, no... I like the part above this...

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3 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

  all our players suck...

That's The Spirit!!!

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4 hours ago, Nastradamus said:

 

 

Yah, yah, I'm a Lions slappy and all our players suck...

stop stealing my bits.

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Stafford was on  fire deep. Need to be more aggressive this year, especially with the hopeful help of more play action

 

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Antonio Gates, Marcedes Lewis, and Julius Thomas are still available if the Lions look to free agency for another tight end. All could be had for pretty cheap I would think.

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Cornelius Washington's days appear numbered. Almost 3 million in savings to cut him, Hand makes him redundant. 

Quote

n Lions general manager Bob Quinn’s recent post-draft press conference, he had an interesting comment about the Lions turning their attention towards remaining veteran free agents, now that the draft if over. As a matter of fact, he even stated that the Lions are actively in talks with some veteran free agents. Here is a list of who these mystery free agents could possibly be.

Johnathan Hankins, Interior Defensive Lineman

2017 stats: 44 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 passes defended

Hankins spent the 2017 season with the Indianapolis Colts after signing a big three year, $30 million contract with them last offseason. However, due to scheme changes this offseason, the Colts decided to cut Hankins a few weeks ago.

Hankins doesn’t offer a ton as a pass rusher (just 12 sacks in five seasons), but he is a decent at pushing the pocket. His real value comes in the run game, where he helped the Colts become the 8th best rushing defense by yards per carry. He also received a high quality grade from Pro Football Focus and was their 20th ranked defensive lineman of the 2017 season. He could help the Lions greatly in this area if Bob Quinn was to sign him.

Tamba Hali, Outside Linebacker

2017 stats: 1 tackle

Tamba Hali is a long time NFL vet. Drafted in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft, he has made 89.5 career sacks along with 33 forced fumbles. He also made the pro bowl five times in his career.

However, Hali’s play has declined over the last few seasons, with just 3.5 sacks in 2016 and one a single tackle in 2017. It is possible that he still has something left as a situational pass rusher, but I would be surprised to see Detroit, or really any team sign him given his massive dip in production.

Robert Ayers, Defensive End

2017 stats: 31 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

Robert Ayers is another veteran player, although he likely has more left in the tank than Hali. He averages just under five sacks per season over the last seven years, and is also a very solid player in run defense.

From the 2013-2016 seasons, Ayers had at least five sacks each year. However, in 2017, his production dropped to only two sacks in 10 games. Despite this, Pro Football Focus was remarkably high on him, ranking him as the 10th best defensive end in the entire NFL.

Ayers could be a very good signing for the Lions. He has potential to still be an alright defensive end/outside linebacker, and could be great depth if current Lions Kerry Hyder and Anthony Zettel out perform expectations and hold onto starting roles.

Willie Young, Edge

2017 stats: 7 tackles, 2 sacks

Detroit fans may remember Willie Young from when he was a member of the Lions from 2010-2013. Since then, he has played for the Chicago Bears and had a career renaissance, averaging eight sacks per season from 2014-2016.

Last seasons, Willie Young only played in four games before a triceps injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season. In those four games, he was still productive, making two sacks.

Returning to Detroit could make sense for Young. The Lions need help in the pass rushing department, and their new multiple defensive scheme under coach Matt Patricia could be a much better fit for Young than the 4-3 defense they ran in Young’s first stint here under Jim Schwartz.

Shea McClellin, Linebacker

2017 stats: N/A

Shea McClellin is a former first round pick for the Chicago Bears who never lived up to expectations. However, when he signed with the Patriots in the 2016 season, he played the best football of his career, with 39 tackles and one sack in four starts. The Patriots defensive coordinator that season was new Lions head coach Matt Patricia. McClellin is a highly athletic linebacker with pass rushing ability.

McClellin sat out all of the 2017 season with supposed concussion issues. If that is indeed the case, it would likely be best for McClellin to retire from football altogether. However, if he is medically cleared and does want to continue playing, reuniting with Matt Patricia could make sense for both sides.

Jared Crick, Interior Defensive Lineman

2017 stats: N/A

Jared Crick is an interior defensive lineman with some upside as a pass rusher. Over his last three seasons, he had 8.5 sacks while starting 46 games. Crick is also a good player against the run, totaling 157 tackles in that time. Like the Lions own A’Shawn Robinson, Crick has a knack for deflecting passes at the line of scrimmage, with 14 in that same period.

Crick sat out all of the 2017 season due to a back injury. Because of this, nobody could really say how productive Crick could be if the Lions were to sign him. He was still a very solid player in 2016 though, and could absolutely be worth taking a shot on with Detroit’s lack of interior defensive depth.

Lamarr Houston, Defensive Lineman

2017 stats: 17 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 defensive touchdown

Over Houston’s eight NFL seasons, he has managed to sack opposing quarterback’s 30.5 times. Perhaps his biggest strength is his versatility: he has gone through many scheme changes in his career and has played anywhere from outside linebacker, to defensive end, to defensive tackle.

At this point in his career, Houston seems like he may just be a worse version of Devon Kennard, a player the Lions signed earlier this offseason. Houston could be good depth, but he really doesn’t bring a lot to the table at this point in his career.

Connor Barwin, Edge

017 stats: 34 tackles, 5 sacks

Barwin has also had a long, productive NFL career. His best seasons came with the Texans in 2011 and Eagles in 2014 when he had 11.5 and 14.5 sacks. Outside of those two years, he has also had five or more sacks in four other seasons.

Last season, Barwin started 13 games for the Rams, and had pretty average statistics. However, Pro Football Focus was much lower on him, giving him a poor grade of just 42.6 and calling ranking him the 103rd edge player in the NFL. Barwin could be good depth for the Lions in 2018, but is likely not an upgrade over what they already have.

Ricky Jean-Francois, Defensive Lineman

2017 stats: 12 tackles

Jean-Francois is the definition of a journeyman defensive lineman. He has played for five teams in his nine year career, with his longest stint being four years with the 49ers. Jean-Francois spent last season with the Patriots, where he was good depth and played in the Superbowl. Jean-Francois even made a sack in the playoffs against the Tennessee Titans.

Earlier this offseason, their were rumors of Jean-Francois signing with the Lions, but nothing ever actually came of them. Jean-Francois is by no means a world beater, but he could be a solid addition to the Lions defensive front. Last season, Pro Football Focus gave him an average grade of 76.9.

Antonio Gates, Tight End

2017 stats: 30 receptions, 316 yards, 3 touchdowns

Gates is a 15 year NFL veteran who has made eight Pro Bowl’s and been named a first team all pro three times. At this point in his career, he doesn’t offer a lot in terms of blocking, but can still be an effective receiving tight end.

While the Lions signed tight ends Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo this offseason, Gates is still a better player than either of them. Gates was born in Detroit, and the Chargers recently informed him that they do not intend to re-sign him. This could make the Lions an excellent fit for Gates if they are willing to cut one of Toilolo or second year tight end Michael Roberts.

http://www.detroitlionspodcast.com/lucas-walker/2018/05/02/remaining-free-agent-targets-for-the-detroit-lions/

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The Lions traded Akeem Spence to the Dolphins for a draft pick. They'll probably sign a DT or two soon.

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27 minutes ago, cruzer1 said:

The Lions traded Akeem Spence to the Dolphins for a draft pick. They'll probably sign a DT or two soon.

do they have the money to sign hankins?

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12 minutes ago, Buddha said:

do they have the money to sign hankins?

Not that I know of. After FA they had about 2 million left.

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14 hours ago, cruzer1 said:

Not that I know of. After FA they had about 2 million left.

With the entire roster it is $2,068,788

$6,225,494 with projected draft pool and top 51

 

 

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