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Just Say No Volume 1.0: 5 free agents the Lions need to avoid

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5 free agents the Lions need to make sure they don’t sign

NFL: DEC 24 Dolphins at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s that time again, Lions fans. It’s time to crush free agency dreams with some good old Just Say No action. If you’re not familiar with the last three years of Just Say No, get out from under that rock and a start reading this extremely marginally popular series.

I’ll catch you up to speed. Every offseason leading up to free agency in March goes the same way. Social media suddenly blows up with the phrase, “The Lions should sign _______.” Since February of 2015, I’ve made it my sole duty to break those people’s hearts and explain why you don’t want the Lions to sign ________.

So far, 2018 is no different. We already have our first group of players the Lions should Just Say No to on the block. Let’s jump right into it. Let’s break some hearts and crush some dreams.

Dion Lewis

Dion comes to us by popular request, both by Lions fans that want him signed and those who don’t want the Lions to come anywhere near Dion. Here’s the skinny on Lewis.

It’s true the Lions are in desperate need of a run game after finishing near the bottom in the past two years and not having a 100 yard rusher since 2013—two things that every Lions fan is reminded of on a near daily basis. But Lewis is not the answer at all.

The biggest reason is the obvious. Lewis isn’t as good as you think he is. While Lewis is coming off the best year of his career where he ran for 896 yards and six touchdowns, that production is a long time coming. Lewis has been in the league since 2011 and his second-highest rushing production is 283 yards.

There’s a reason for the uptick. Lewis just finished the first full season of his career. After showing some early promise in 2015, he tore his ACL. That injury kept him off the field until Week 10 of the 2016 season. Once he actually got to play, he didn’t do much. He was invisible for much of the playoffs, as well as when the Patriots won the Super Bowl.

He had a good year in 2017, but Lewis was never meant to be more than a system back. And the Lions need a crown jewel here. Dion Lewis is a Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah clone. The Lions just can’t go this route.

Jeremy Hill

What? Another running back? Yeah, this won’t be the last one either. Today’s piece has a running back theme. It’s odd to see this name, yet there were a lot of people that came to me during the season wondering if I felt the Lions would go for Hill. The answer was always no, and here’s why.

Jeremy Hill is not what what you think he is. Jeremy Hill hasn’t been what you think he is since 2014 when he ran for 1,124 yards. Hill’s production has dropped drastically since that time. In 2017, Hill ran for 116 yards in seven starts. Some of that had to do with an ankle injury that sent him to the IR in November. Much of it has to do with the fact that while Hill is good for 700-800 yards, he’s just not that running back that took the league by storm in his rookie year.

Hill would be perfect as a complementary back. But, again, that’s just not what the Lions need right now. They have plenty of those already.

Adrian Peterson

(Note: Adrian Peterson is not a free agent, but he is expected to be a cap casualty.)

I can’t believe I still have to do this, but there are still Lions fans out there that want the Lions to go after Adrian Peterson to fix their run game. I ask you know to please stop this madness. I wouldn’t sign Adrian Peterson with Martin Mayhew’s pen. The Lions should stay far away for AD, and I’ll tell you why.

Because he’s done. It’s over with. Peterson had a surprisingly big year in 2015 after serving a year long suspension for child abuse. Since then, Peterson has run for 601 yards in two seasons for three different teams. Couple that with the fact that he’s going on 33 and the Cardinals are about to cut him, and you have all the reasons in the world why this won’t go down.

I’ll give you one more reason anyways. The Lions had a chance to sign Adrian last offseason and politely declined. So yeah, this isn’t going to happened.

Darrelle Revis

Speaking of done, Revis Island has sunk, ladies and gentlemen. The corner who was once the best in the game is likely about to be joining Adrian Peterson in retirement as well, and it’s not just his play that put the final nail in the coffin.

Revis found himself making headlines when he was charged with aggravated assault, robbery, terroristic threats and conspiracy stemming in February of 2017. Just one week after, the Jets let him walk. The charges were later dropped after a friend confessed to the assault, but the damage was done.

Revis didn’t find a home until November when he signed with the Chiefs. He only played five games and started just two of them. Two months later, the Chiefs cut him.

The Lions just don’t need him. The Lions could use another corner to help out All Pro corner Darius Slay, but at this point, that corner is more likely to be Malcolm Butler. Revis will be calling football games on TV before you know it.

Jimmy Graham

Here’s our first big fish of the season. This is the one I’m predicting will get some flack. The Lions already have a big receiving tight end in Eric Ebron, and Ebron is the better choice over Graham going forward. Here’s why.

If drops are a big problem to you, then you would hate Jimmy Graham in Detroit. Let’s do a little stat work here. Eric Ebron is supposedly the drop master in the NFL. Although for all of that narrative, Ebron only dropped the ball three times in 2017. Graham had seven, good for second-most in the league.

That’s nothing new. Graham has had this problem his entire career. But the production he was able to get out in his heyday masked the deficiencies. But those days are over. In 2017, Graham racked up just 520 yards. He had 10 touchdowns, but he became a player who turned into just a red zone threat.

The idea of a dependable tight end on the other side of Ebron is a good idea, but going on 32, Graham is just not that guy. The Lions could probably benefit more from signing Graham’s counterpart in Luke Wilson. Willson could bring in some blocking and a little receiving in the vein of Darren Fells. Willson is just 28, too.

Look, I won’t lie. There’s always a player on these lists that if the Lions do somehow sign, I won’t complain about. Graham is that player this time. If the Lions can get Jimmy for super cheap, why the heck not? I’ll be the last to complain about it. But the truth is that will never happen. Graham is going to want more than he’s worth and somebody is gonna give it to him.