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Lions get C+ grade for offseason from ESPN

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ESPN recently handed out offseason grades and gave the Detroit Lions a C+. Is this an accurate assessment?

Jamie Squire

Last week, ESPN handed out grades to all 32 NFL teams for what they did over the course of the offseason. The grades were based on the following factors: "coaching changes, ownership issues, contract dynamics, free agency, the draft, off-field incidents, etc."

In order to come up with the grades, ESPN polled several of its analysts and even a current general manager for some teams. The results were then added up and averaged out to produce a single grade for each team, and the Detroit Lions ended up with a C+ for their offseason.

Why wasn't the Lions' grade higher? It sounds like the Eric Ebron pick, as well as their less than desirable salary cap situation, had a lot to do with it.

"It's hard for me to ignore the cap management, which was not specific to this offseason," [Field] Yates said. "To be in a bind with three players taking up so much of your cap and to recognize by declining the fifth-year option on Nick Fairley that he has not panned out, that was part of the equation for me. To redo Pettigrew on a four-year deal that is effectively a one-year contract and then take Ebron is not entirely redundant, but they could have added to that defense a top-10 pick that might have had more value than two tight ends plus Joseph Fauria on the roster."

For what it's worth, the Lions got a B for their offseason last year and a C- in 2012. The Lions did actually have a pretty good offseason last year considering they managed to add guys like Reggie Bush and Glover Quin via free agency and several contributors via the draft. For this year, it remains to be seen if free-agent additions like Golden Tate and James Ihedigbo will work out quite as well, and only time will tell if Ebron, Kyle Van Noy and Travis Swanson were wise draft picks.

Just based on the moves the Lions have made on paper over the last five months or so, what grade do you think they deserve for their offseason?