The Lions made headlines in March when they were (quite uncharacteristically of the Lions) one of the most active teams in free agency. They got some big names at the start, but also nabbed some players whose names flew under the radar. Thus far in the season there have been mixed results, but some names definitely stand out.
Question of the day: Who has been the Lions’ best free-agent signing thus far?
My answer: Marvin Hall Jr.
This one was close, and I was tempted to say Danny Amendola. Amendola had arguably his best game of the season thus far on Sunday against the New York Giants, and has been stellar in the run game to go alongside his 28 catches for 347 yards.
Amendola was Detroit's highest-graded run blocker at 78.3 Nick Bawden was the next closest at 63.6. https://t.co/Gib9Uq1zx6— Benjamin Raven (@BenjaminSRaven) October 29, 2019
Given the Lions’ absolute failure in establishing some semblance of a reliable run game, however, I’ve gotta go with Marvin Hall. Hall is averaging over 40 yards per catch (!!!), currently standing at five catches for 201 yards. He may not make as much of an impact in the run game given his limited snap count, but he’s surely starting to draw attention from defenses.
This play in particular stood out to me on Sunday; if Hall got more than like two snaps per game I’d have gotten more film to make this point. Hall poses the threat of taking the top off of defenses, and defensive backs are noticing.
We Don't Appreciate Matthew Stafford Enough, Part 15,235 pic.twitter.com/K9YE9UgZKu— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) October 29, 2019
While this is in fact an impeccable throw by Stafford, it’s Marvin Hall who gives Golladay room to not get rocked as he makes the catch. With the Giants in a cover three look defensively, as soon as Hall breaks in on his post route the safety and corner are both blazing to the end zone hoping not to get beat over top. Expect defenses to continue to take note in future weeks; it should continue to open things up over the middle for Stafford.
While Amendola has pleasantly surprised this season, he also costs almost 10 times as much as Hall. Amendola signed a one-year contract worth $4.5 million, with the potential to reach close to $6 million with incentives. Hall, on the other hand, signed a two-year deal that lands him $690,000 each season. For that cost differential, Hall’s gotta be the best free agency signing of the offseason thus far.