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Notes: Former Lions WR says team mistreats its players

Another former Lions appears disgruntled with how the team handles business.

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, former Detroit Lions wide receiver Jace Billingsley caught the attention of some fans when he released a music video that features, at one point, a picture of Lions general manager Bob Quinn and team president Rod Wood with clown noses and a black bar over their eyes:

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press caught up with Billingsley after the video dropped to see exactly what his problems with Lions management was.

Though Billingsley didn’t get into any specific incidents between him and management, he did say he believes “they make many decisions that have their own interests prioritized over what is best for the team,” and accused their conduct to be deceitful, at times.

Billingsley was originally signed by the Lions as an undrafted rookie in 2016. Over the next couple years, he jumped on and off the roster, making just two career game appearances. Though he occasionally made a big impression during the preseason, he never logged a single catch in the NFL.

The former receiver said his shot at the Lions had nothing to do with the fact that they cut him.

“I should’ve played better,” Billingsley texted Birkett.

He also admitted that some of his qualms with Lions management may simply be a bigger issue with the way the NFL conducts business.

“I’m not necessarily trying to bash those guys, but I don’t agree with a lot of the way that they treat the players. I mean, I don’t want to get misquoted as saying I don’t know something, but I just think that they could have conducted their business a little better,” Billingsley said. “But it is a business, and that’s part of it, so I guess maybe I’m taking more of a shot at just how the fact that football becomes a business and it’s not a sport where everyone’s playing as a team.”

Of course, Billingsley isn’t the only one who has criticized this staff recently. Star receiver Calvin Johnson has not affiliated himself with the franchise after the team sought some of his signing bonus following his retirement. Quandre Diggs has had some not-so-veiled choice words for the Lions following his trade earlier in the year. Even current cornerback Darius Slay has complained about the lack of loyalty in the way the Lions—and the rest of the NFL—conducts business.

Billingsley’s voice adds more heat to the Lions’ front office after the team has now been eliminated from playoff contention for its third straight season.

  • In more positive news, the Lions have been nominated for Celebration of the Week, following Marvin Jones Jr.’s turkey serving celebration. Please take note of Graham Glasgow’s patented head tap in the middle of the celebration:

(click the tweet above for video of each celebration)

  • The Ringer has an “Exit Interview” for the Lions, eulogizing their 2019 season now that their playoff hopes are officially dashed. It’s a nice recap of what went wrong, what went right and what’s next for the franchise.

  • Matthew Stafford’s 2019 season remains one of the best in the league, still hanging onto a top-6 spot in ESPN’s QBR metric:

  • It’s Tuesday, which means it’s workout day across the NFL. The Lions reportedly worked out former Wisconsin nose tackle, Olive Sagapolu, who recently signed to the XFL:

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