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Wednesday open thread: Which Lions 2018 free agent will have the most success with his new team?

Who may the Lions regret letting go this offseason?

Carolina Panthers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Back when I was regularly attending Detroit Lions home games, I sat next to a pair of season ticket holders. It was a pair of crotchety old men who were basically the real-life versions of Statler and Waldorf. It seemed they were only there to roast the Lions and laugh at their poor own jokes. I don’t blame them. In a way, it was the only way to mentally get through the teams of the 2000s.

But one of my favorite go-to lines from the pair was how any Lions player who was struggling would eventually go to another team and succeed. They were convinced there was this laundry list of players who left Detroit and went on to have a Hall of Fame careers, and it was bound to happen over and over again. I still remember their insistence that Artose Pinner was going to blow up the league if the Lions let him go.

It wasn’t just this duo that had this feeling. This narrativer permeated through a large portion of the fanbase. The minute a once-promising player touched down in a new city under a new franchise, they were bound to explode.

Whether there was truth to that talking point is up for debate, but lately that hasn’t really been the case. There have been moderate successes like Riley Reiff, Larry Warford and Kyle Van Noy, but Detroit hasn’t really lost any big players that failed during their time with the Lions.

All that being said, Detroit had to make some tough decisions this offseason, and they ultimately moved on from some players that still have the talent to be NFL contributors for years to come. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Which Lions free agent that signed with another team this offseason will have the most success outside of Detroit in 2018?

(hat tip to “zeusifur” for the inspiration for today’s Question of the Day)

My answer: As a reminder, here are the notable players that will be playing elsewhere in 2018:

  • DJ Hayden with the Jaguars
  • Darren Fells with the Browns
  • Don Carey with the Jaguars
  • Haloti Ngata with the Eagles
  • Tahir Whitehead with the Raiders
  • Brandon Copeland with the Jets
  • Travis Swanson with the Jets
  • Paul Worrilow with the Eagles (has since torn his ACL and won’t play in 2018)
  • Eric Ebron with the Colts (released)

There are a few possible answers here. I think Ngata, while at the end of his career, is a really good fit with Philadelphia, and could be in for a very solid year. I’m extremely interested in what Whitehead is going to do in Oakland, as well.

But I really think a new environment and a new fanbase is just what Eric Ebron needed.

I don’t think Ebron is going to blow up the league and suddenly all of his faults are going to go away. He’s still going to give fans the occasional headache with a dropped pass here and there, and at some point, his personality is going to clash with the fanbase. However, I think Indy is a good landing place for him, and he’ll continue to play at a level worthy of top 10 stats among tight ends.

That doesn’t mean the Lions’ decision to cut him will ultimately be proven wrong, but I do think Ebron has a healthy long career ahead of him, and I think he’ll be somewhat successful in 2018.

You turn.