It is not always true that the Detroit Lions make great decision is NFL free agency. Long time Lions fans remember the team handing out a big contract to QB Scott Mitchell, WR Az-Zahir Hakeem, and this team making other blunders signing free agents and often times dealing with their own free agents. In 2012 General Manager Martin Mayhew made a critical error but standing pat with his roster. It helped derail the 2012 season, and no matter how these moves end up working out at the very least the Lions are actively trying to improve their team, an their locker room.
The big name of course is Reggie Bush, and we will have to wait to see how the Lions rebuild their offensive line before we can judge this move. It is the kind of move that usually does not work out for the Lions, but having Reggie and Calvin Johnson in this offense gives Scott Linehan a lot of options. Let us hope he can get creative and use Reggie in an effective manner. Detroitsports360.com has reports that his deal is 16 million or so base with a four million dollar signing bonus. It is hard to argue against that especially if Reggie helps this offense move the ball on the ground.
The team also resigned CB Chris Houston and Safety Louis Delmas. It seems they may have over paid for both of these players. Houston deal is for five years and 25 million, which seems like a lot but at the very least the team is spreading his cap hit over the five years. Houston was covering the opponents’ top receivers last year and it would appear at this moment he will be doing the same in 2013. They will be paying Delmas nearly ten million dollars over the next two seasons, and while he is the emotional leader on the defense is inability to stay healthy makes this deal hard to understand. At the very least the team can get out of it if they need too. All in all it is hard to argue against resigning these two players to a secondary that was paper thin.
That is why the signing of Clover Quinn may have been the best move the Lions made so far in 2013. Quinn is a safety but he is a converted corner so he can line up and press a guy if needed. Let us see if Gunther Cunningham can come up with an interesting way to effectively use Quinn. Adding a veteran safety was a must for this team and at least on paper Delmas and Quinn as the two deep guys looks a heck of a lot better than anything the Lions ran out in 2013.
The last move they made was to bring in DL Jason Jones. This was a move to add some depth at the DE position with the cutting of Kyle Vanden Bosch and now the free agency loss of Cliff Avril. The DE spot on the Lions roster is currently in flux and it would seem they are going to address it in this year’s NFL draft.
Of course the Lions had other losses too. LT Jeff Backus retired, RT Gosder Cherilus left in free agency, and Steven Peterman was cut. So now the offensive line needs some serious work. Two more first round picks have departed and the Bush moves only makes sense if some serious attention is paid to improving that unit.