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Thursday open thread: Grade the Luke Willson signing

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What do you think of the Luke Willson signing?

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Tuesday was technically Day 7 of free agency, and it happened to be one of the most active for the Detroit Lions. After early rumors via Golden Tate that Detroit would be adding tight end Luke Willson, the Lions made it so just a few hours later.

After that, the Lions finally got involved in the defensive line game. First, they were rumored to be closing in on a deal with Ricky Jean Francois, but those rumors dried up and now it’s not clear where that signing is imminent or not. However, the Lions finished the day by officially inking former first-round pick Sylvester Williams.

Unfortunately, we don’t currently know the terms to Williams’ deal, other than it being a one-year deal, so it’s hard to determine how the Lions fared in the deal. That being said, we do know the terms to Detroit’s deal with Willson: one-year, $2.5 million.

So today’s Question of the Day is:

What grade do you give the Luke Willson signing?

My answer: B-.

Willson is a nice signing and a great story of homecoming for the Ontario native. As I mentioned in Wednesday’s open thread, Willson was actually the one remaining tight end I was hoping Detroit would sign, because he brings some skills both as a receiver and blocker.

However, I think the Lions are still without a true starting tight end. I don’t think Michael Roberts will be ready to assume that role, and I don’t believe Willson will suddenly become a 40-catch receiver if he finally gets the chance to be a No. 1 tight end. Willson has never caught more than 22 passes in a season, and there’s no real reason to suggest he can grow into starter-level production. After all, he’s already 28 years old.

That being said, I like that the Lions are clearly aware that Willson is no more than a stopgap replacement, and signed him to just a one-year deal. And $2.5 million is more than a fair amount to pay for a guy at Willson’s skill level. Just don’t expect his addition to be transformative.

Your turn.


What grade do you give the Luke Willson signing?

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    (256 votes)
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