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Just Say No 4.0: The final 4 free agents the Lions should avoid

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A look at four more players the Detroit Lions need to avoid in free agency.

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Here we go, Lions fans. It’s Friday, and we are just a short weekend away from free agent madness starting on Monday when the NFL allows teams to meet with agents for the legal tampering period. So this means it’s time for the final Just Say No of the the year.

As we all know, there’s also another madness that happens in March. The NCAA basketball tournament is about to be upon us. So in honor of that, and because I couldn’t find a fifth guy to put on today’s list, I give you the Just Say No Final Four, live from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina (or wherever you are when you read this).

It’s been a fun month of Just Say No, and I always appreciate that guys and girls read these pieces and enjoy watching Lions fans get their hearts broken when they want to sign a 43-year-old player that started four games in the last three years but was a Pro Bowler in 2009. Let’s see the final four.

Antonio Gates

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Lions might find themselves in the market for a tight end at some point in the offseason if the rumors are true.

I think the idea of trading Eric Ebron is as good of an idea as ordering a Big Mac at Burger King. It’s just dumb and the people at Burger King will wish a slow and agonizing death upon you if you do this. There are many reasons I don’t work at BK anymore. This is one of them.

I doubt this trade happens, but I’ll play along just so I can complain about having to put Antonio Gates on this list. Seriously, guys. Even if the Lions keep Ebron, which I’m 94 percent sure they will, the Lions shouldn’t sign Gates as a second option. Here’s why.

Antonio Gates will be 38 years old in June. That makes Antonio the oldest player in this year’s series of Just Say No. Antonio has started just 17 games in the last 41 he played. So the Chargers know he’s not a starting caliber tight end, why would the Lions?

I get it: Gates is from Detroit and there could be some interest there from him. I also understand that Anquan Boldin had a great year for the Lions in 2016, but this is an entirely different situation. Just stop this madness.

Martellus Bennett

Does no one pay attention? The Patriots just cut Martellus on Thursday afternoon. Lions fans rushed to Twitter to profess that the Lions must sign him. Now let’s go back in time a little. Remember this?

That was one year ago. Martellus signed with the Packers and many were saying it was the hottest free agent signing of the year. According to many analysts, this signing would help the Packers get back into the Super Bowl. Martellus was cut eight months later after playing just seven games.

Then there was the medical fiasco. One minute he’s accusing malpractice from Packers doctors. The next, he’s healed and playing for the Patriots. He played just two games in New England before eventually landing on injured reserve. All told, Martellus played nine games and finished the season with 30 receptions for 286 yards and zero touchdowns.

To top it off, Martellus will turn 31 tomorrow.

While there could be some familiarity there with Matt Patricia, the Lions should really take Bennett’s last visit to the NFC North into account when they politely don’t even call his agent to offer him a visit.

Danny Amendola

Again with the ties to Matt Patricia. I know some Lions fans are completely sure that Bob Quinn intends to completely rebuild the New England Patriots in Detroit piece by piece, but that’s just not what’s happening here.

You know we never really think about it because every receiver that’s ever played for the Patriots in the Tom Brady era looks like a Abercrombie and Fitch model, but Amendola is 32 years old. Every time I see him I think he’s 23, but he’s old like me. I look more like a model for Popeye’s Chicken, but I do alright.

You’d be shocked to find out how unproductive this guy has really been in his career. Last year Amendola grabbed 61 receptions for 659 yards and two touchdowns. That’s like the third best year of his 10-year career, and just 30 yards short of his best season ever (2010). I was under the assumption that each Patriots receiver had exactly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns because Touchdown Tommy evenly distributed it that way.

The real deal here is that the Lions just don’t need him. This team is chock full of receiving options right now. At this point, if I were Danny, I wouldn’t even want to come to Detroit because I know that I won’t get used there (and because I need to be at the mall to stand in front of the Abercrombie store with no shirt on Tuesdays and Thursdays). God, I hate the Patriots.

DeMarco Murray

This one is hot off the presses. The Titans announced Thursday night that they will be releasing Murray, and it took Lions fans 2.4 seconds to hit the internet and beg for the Lions to sign him. Here’s the thing. I’m not totally against it. Call it a Just Say I’m Not Sure. Here’s why.

It’s true that DeMarco is a starter in the NFL. He is just one season removed from running for 1,287 yards, and it wasn’t long ago when Murray was the NFL’s Offensive Player Of The Year.

Here’s where it gets muddy. Yes, Murray has had some great seasons, but even though he only just turned 30, this guy has a lot of tread on him. Murray has gone over 200 rushing attempts three times in his seven year career. In his two biggest seasons, he finished first and third in the league in rushing attempts. He had 392 in 2013 alone.

This guy has been run ragged, and it’s going to be a risk for the Lions if they want him to be an every down back.

Where I don’t mind Murray is if the Lions bring him in as a secondary guy to whoever they decide to draft or sign. The Lions could use a guy that can pound the rock for half the time, and Murray would fit that role well. Nevertheless, I doubt Murray would want to play second fiddle, and I doubt the Lions have any interest in him to begin with.

The Mountain

What’s that? Yeah I found the secret fifth man. Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Mountain.

Wow, that guy is strong. There’s no question about it. But what is he even doing on this list? Well, some crazy Lions guy thinks Detroit should sign him.

Well, I’m sorry, Justin from Ann Arbor. The Lions can’t sign The Mountain because he’s [*pushes glasses closer to face*] a weightlifter. This is dumb of me to put this in here. We’ll see you next year, Just Say No series.