When the Detroit Lions were rebuilding their roster in the first couple years of Martin Mayhew's tenure as general manager, one of the things he did best was add talent in many different ways. Draft picks and free agent signings are the easiest way to add talent, but Mayhew also spent a lot of time making trades and scouring the waiver wire to improve the roster.
Although the Lions are no longer in a position where they are desperately in need of talent, Mayhew hasn't changed his approach in terms of trying to make the team even better. This is why he put in a waiver claim for offensive guard Bill Nagy, who officially joined the Lions on Thursday. Nagy had been waived-injured by the Dallas Cowboys, which were hoping to put him on injured reserve after he had ankle surgery. He couldn't go directly to IR and had to clear waivers, which did not end up happening.
Many have questioned the decision to add a guy who is coming off of ankle surgery, but it's clear Mayhew made this move for the future. Nagy can play both offensive guard and center, and he has starting experience despite only being in his second year. Injuries are obviously an issue, but it's not like the Lions need him this season. Chances are he will be placed on injured reserve later this month (when clearing waivers is no longer necessary), and next year he could be in the mix to compete for a starting job or be a key backup at center and guard.
Much like the where the situation earlier this yearNew England Patriots claimed him off waivers from the New York Giants, I have seen some complaints from Cowboys fans over the Lions' move to claim Nagy. The phrase "unwritten rule" has been thrown around because the Lions took a guy who is injured away from the team trying to get him to IR. All I have to say about these complaints is that if the Cowboys wanted to make sure they didn't lose Nagy on waivers, they should have just waited a couple weeks to put him on IR. There's a reason Mikel Leshoure took up a roster spot for a few weeks after his season-ending injury occurred last summer. The Lions had to wait to free up his roster spot unless they wanted to put him on waivers, and doing that simply would have been irresponsible.
It's entirely possible that Nagy won't end up contributing to the Lions in the future, but this was a very low risk move by the Lions. The payoff could be more than worth it if Nagy does become a starter or even just a key backup. The Cowboys may not be happy about losing him, but they should know that a guy like Mayhew is going to do everything in his power to improve his roster both for right now and the future. The Roy Williams trade should have taught them that, and based on what happened with Nagy, I think we can say that they have once again been "Mayhewed."