For all intents and purposes, the Detroit Lions 2019 season is effectively over.
Dead and buried. Soon to be lost and forgotten to history as nothing more than a month and a half long experience of hopes that were eventually dashed.
A movie Lions fans have seen far too often, but there’s no walking out of this theater. In fact, there are still reasons to tune in for the next seven weeks. Detroit has numerous impending free agents who are contributors on both sides of the ball, and the front office has to decide who fits into the team’s plans in 2020 and beyond.
Which leads us to today’s Question of the Day:
Which pending free agent do the Lions need to re-sign?
First of all, yes, I totally get how dumb this exercise is nine games into a season, but it’s a dumb season, so here we are.
Where Detroit’s glaring needs are most obvious need not apply to figuring out who the team needs to bring back. The Lions absolutely need an edge presence in the form of a pass rusher. They need at least one more linebacker to make the second level of this defense respectable.
For me, I look to the offensive line and see a couple of decisions the front office needs to make. One, do the Lions bring back Taylor Decker? He’s got a fifth-year option to the tune of $10.35 million which isn’t overly expensive for a slightly above-average left tackle, but if the Lions are drafting in the top 10, the team could target one of the draft’s top tackle prospects to reset that position. It’s Bob Quinn, everyone, don’t put it past him.
And then there’s Graham Glasgow, who has actually had a pretty solid 2019 despite having to split duty with Kenny Wiggins as the right guard timeshare. If the Lions choose not to re-sign Glasgow, there’s a hole Quinn will have to fill, and if there’s anything we’ve come to learn about Quinn’s offseason tendencies, he takes care of the offensive line. Draft capital, big bags of cash, Quinn has signed marquee free agents T.J. Lang and Rick Wagner, and he’s spent first-round selections on both Decker and Frank Ragnow. Glasgow was Quinn’s third pick as a general manager, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Quinn prioritize keeping him around long term.
Another potential name to consider is A’Shawn Robinson, one of the Lions more consistent pieces along their defensive front in terms of availability and performance. While Robinson belongs as part of a group that’s perceived to have depth on paper, things just haven’t panned out on the field.