Since Bob Quinn took the general manager job for the Detroit Lions, the narrative surrounding him and every decision that he makes is based upon the Patriot Way. The Patriot Way has a real moneyball feel to it. It’s all about players that were square-pegs-in-round-holes elsewhere and middle-tier players that could potentially leap to the next level in the Lions scheme.
This has actually worked for the Lions in many ways. Players like Devon Kennard and Romeo Okwara made major strides in their careers once they came to Detroit. The Lions can and should continue to apply this method when building their roster going forward. But there’s another route they can take at the same time. This one.
Le’Veon Bell droppin truth bombs in the B/R Instagram comments pic.twitter.com/Kmk9SMl4Nb— Simms & Lefkoe (@SimmsAndLefkoe) January 21, 2019
Le’Veon Bell is absolutely right. The Rams were 4-12 two years ago. They’ll be playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl in two weeks. How does a team like that make this turn around? Besides getting rid of Jeff Fisher, the Rams took a look at their talent pool and their bank account and they went all in. And they won’t be the last team to do it.
The Lions should be the next team. The current Lions are not that far off from competing. While all hell broke loose in the middle of the season once injuries and trades happened, the Lions were a .500 team that were just a few mistakes away from being a one-loss team.
So, with that in mind, it’s time for the Lions to go all in and spend that money. That money I’m talking about by the way, is the $33 million the team currently has that will grow once the team cuts some contracts and the NFL increases the league’s cap by another $10 million, per estimates.
The Lions should be in on the Demarcus Lawrence discussion. They should call Landon Collins’ agent. They should form some sort of mass team tweet thing with emojis like the Clippers did with DeAndre Jordan. They should then direct that emoji scheme at Tyrann Mathieu.
They don’t need to just work it in the free agency department. They should make some trades. Call the Steelers and see what they want for Antonio Brown. Move up in the draft if you have to. Go all in, for crying out loud.
The Rams have proved that this works. They’re not alone either. Five of the 10 teams with the least amount of cap space in 2018 were in the playoffs. The Rams were of course one of those five. As were the Chargers, Bears, Saints and Chiefs. Sadly, the Lions were one of the five teams that it didn’t work out for. But, to be fair, their money woes are based on years of bad contracts and recent extensions rather than big signings.
Here’s the problem. The Lions are at a real disadvantage this offseason, at least in free agency terms. The Colts are going to have an ungodly amount of money and they’re coming off a year where they made the playoffs. They’re going to be hard to complete with. as will the Browns, Jets, Texans, Cowboys and others.
The Lions are going to have a hard time convincing players to come to Detroit instead of taking the payday with a team that just made the playoffs. What is the Lions pitch right now? I’m not sure I can answer that right now.
While I believe the Lions should go all in, there’s a very realistic chance that the Lions aren’t going to do anything that even resembles it. In fact, I’d hunker down and fully expect the Lions to bore the hell out of you in March and then have a smart and useful draft in April. You could maybe hope for one splash signing.
What is clear is that the Lions have a chance to turn themselves into a playoff team in 2019 if they don’t sit on their hands. What’s sad is that they still might.