As much fun as it is to throw around a name like Cortland Finnegan and think about which free agents the Detroit Lions could target this offseason, the reality of their current situation is that going out and adding big names is unlikely. Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand said as much earlier this week, stressing that the team is now in a position where it's more important to re-sign guys like Cliff Avril and Stephen Tulloch than go out and "make the big splash signings." Lewand had a good analogy to go along with his thoughts on free agency.
Lewand compares Lions offseason to a race car. The last few years they've had to build the car and now it's more about the work in the pits— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 14, 2012
Lewand also stressed the importance of being patient, both in terms of signing players and reacting to things as fans. For the former, he mentioned that if you are patient as a team, you can often "get a lot more value for your cap dollars than you can if you charge out there on the first day of free agency" trying to make a big signing. Just look at the value the Lions got by waiting a few days and signing Tulloch last offseason.
For fans, it can be tough to be patient, but Lewand requested that the Lions be judged on the whole of their actions and not just by offseason headlines.
Lewand says he, Mayhew and Schwartz want to be judged on actions and results, not offseason headlines.— Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) February 14, 2012
A good example of needing to be patient can be found in the Cliff Avril negotiations saga. Just because you see headlines about a possible holdout or the franchise tag doesn't mean you need to freak out. This is a long offseason, and a lot that you are reading about now may not even be relevant in a few weeks. The same goes for all of the talk about the Lions' cap issues. One move, such as extending Calvin Johnson, could significantly change the situation, so it's important to let things play out before jumping to conclusions.