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Best and Worst Offseason Moves: Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew chose to become a player in free agency in 2013. Will his efforts pay off this season?

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew chose to become a player in free agency in 2013. Will his efforts pay off this season?

As we eagerly await the arrival of the 2013 NFL Draft, we continue our tour around the league, examining the best and worst offseason moves each team has made so far. Yesterday we looked at the Chicago Bears. Today we are examining the Detroit Lions.

General manager Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand took a hiatus from free agency last year, choosing to focus on retaining talent already on the roster. The result left much to be desired, as Detroit slipped from a Wild Card berth in 2011 to a 4-12 record lowlighted by a -16 turnover differential, disappointing play by all four defensive ends, struggles in the red zone, and devastating injuries (not to mention insanity) among recent second- and third-round picks.

This year, the front office has taking a two-pronged approach, not only re-signing vital players like cornerback Chris Houston, but also dipping into the free-agent pool to reinforce positions of need. As is to be expected, they have connected on some shots and misfired on others.

Best Moves

After two successful seasons with a solid Houston Texans defense, safety Glover Quin was signed to a five-year, $23.5 million deal. A converted cornerback, Quin is good in coverage and can take on tight ends one on one. He is also strong in run support. Reassuringly for a team that has experienced so many injuries in the secondary, he is durable, having missed only one game in four years. He will provide an insurance policy should injury-prone safety Louis Delmas get hurt again in 2013.

Cornerback-turned-safety was one of the best moves the Detroit Lions made this year, according to columnist Russ Thomas.

Signing cornerback-turned-safety Glover Quin was one of the best moves the Detroit Lions made this year, according to columnist Russ Thomas.

Just as importantly, running back Reggie Bush was brought aboard for four years on a $16 million contract. Bush, who had 16 carries of 15 yards or more last season, provides the breakaway threat Detroit desperately needs. Plus he can return punts and represents a huge upgrade over Stefan “Fair Catch or Fumble” Logan. He has demonstrated his durability, putting up two consecutive seasons with over 200 carries, while averaging five yards per carry in 2011. Provided he can stay healthy, the acquisition of Bush will go a long way toward rectifying the debacle that was Jahvid Best’s injury situation.

Worst Move

Based on how the linebacker market has developed this year, Detroit overpaid for DeAndre Levy, re-signing him for three years at $9 million prior to the start of free agency. They picked Levy over Justin Durant because Levy is younger and considered a three-down linebacker, whereas Durant is good in run defense but struggles in coverage. Given how cheaply the Dallas Cowboys signed Durant, Detroit missed out on a deal. If other players like Ashlee Palmer, Travis Lewis, and Tahir Whitehead step up and Levy returns to his pre-injury form, this move will not look so bad in retrospect. For now, it looks like an expensive mistake.

Proof in the pudding

So far it has been a good free-agency period for Mayhew. He needs to score some major successes this year, as 2013 will probably turn out to be the “prove it or move it” season for both himself and head coach Jim Schwartz. He still has the draft to prop up a roster that struggled last year. Will the draft picks and free-agent acquisitions be enough? Regardless of how talented the newcomers are, the players already on the roster — both on offense and on defense — must show more than they did last year if this team is going to make it over the hump.

1886 comments
robertj72
robertj72

Trying to get the ESPN folks to come here but many are resistant. Suddenly poof has value...when he goes full dickwad and mass flags them they will again remember why that place is crap.

FalconsFan0125
FalconsFan0125 moderator

I gotta get ready for work. See yall in about 1.5 hours

Prit
Prit

So the Cubbies and Brew Crew suck. Who else yall northerners like in baseball?

Prit
Prit

We're gonna attack all night and in the morning! If we're not victorious, may none of us comeback alive!

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17

Later yall


Going after some Flounder.

Peace out

Go Bucs

Prit
Prit

Speaking of War movies Patton was on, when I woke. Sweet.

gatrbuc17
gatrbuc17

Morning guys.

Im spreading the word over at the other site.

Jambalaya Joe is making a profile now to come here.

Prit
Prit

@andylet445 We already knew Bosh walked in the rainbow day parade...

Prit
Prit

@Atlfalconsfan0125 @The Dick Tracy And the strike outs... We're racking them up. Gotta start making more contact. But sitting at 5-1, I am being picky. But if those two things click, we're serious contenders for a title.

Prit
Prit

@Atlfalconsfan0125 @The Dick Tracy Starting pitching still worries me though. Huddy is gonna be Huddy, Medlen hoping for half of what he gave us last yr. Minor is gonna have a break out year I'm hoping, Can't wait to get Beachy back! and we'll see bout Tehran. And I just see Malhom as a great steal for a 4 or 5 pitcher.