Sorry for the delay Lions fans. It’s been quite a week at the Payton house this week. But we’re back today to talk about free agents the Lions should Just Say No to.
Last week, we reintroduced the piece with a bit of a new format. This year we’re going by what is widely deemed the teams highest needs of the offseason. First we started with the biggest need by far, a pass rusher.
It was there that we all got together to agree that the Lions should part ways with defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Then a couple days later, Bob Quinn was like “maybe not bruh. I’m not sure yet.” Of course what Quinn really said is that he wont rule it out. Lord knows we’ve been making a big deal about the things Quinn won’t rule out this offseason.
This week we are back with the Lions second biggest need. Somebody to play across Darius Slay. I like Mike Ford just as much as the next guy who had never heard of him until this season, but he’s not going to cut it. Neither is Teez Tabor.
You know who else isn’t going to cut it? These guys:
When I think of Brent Grimes I think of a coupe things. The first thing I think about is his stature. The dude is only 5’10” and has had a pretty good career despite it. The other thing is that time he picked off Stafford in unbelievable fashion.
Here’s the thing. Grimes isn’t that guy anymore. I honestly don’t know how he was that guy then. He was 31 years old when he did this. I know that’s not super old. But it is in football years. Now he’s 35. I know. I didn’t know he was that old either. I’m sure a lot people didn’t when they said they wanted the Lions to look at him.
Grimes is probably going to retire. It’s a wonder he hasn’t already. In July of 2017 he was contemplating retiring from the NFL and taking his talents to the NBA. For some reason he stayed in Tampa Bay. While he did start 13 games, he only graded out at a 61.4 by PFF. That’s average in their world. The Lions don’t need average. Especially 35 year old average. The Pistons might be interested though.
There was a time, oh man was there a time. Back in the 2012 NFL Draft, all I wanted in the world was for the Lions to take Morris Claiborne. Of course he was long gone by the time the Lions took to the podium to take Riley Reiff. But that didn't quell my disappointment.
Now I’m sort of glad that never happened. Sometimes you just get them wrong. I would get it wrong again the next year when I stanned for Dee Milliner. Don’t ask me who I think the Lions should draft people. I get it wrong a lot. Ask Alex Reno or Kent Lee Platte.
Morris didn’t turn out to be the player I thought he was going to be. While he has been a consistent starter for the Jets the last two seasons, he’s been average at best. PFF graded his 2018 season at 62.7. Again, not something the Lions should be seeking at this position.
If Claiborne’s play wasn’t enough, he also has quite the injury past. The most games he ever played in a season with Dallas was 15. The second most was 11. Again, the Lions don’t need these kinds of problems.
It’s not very often that players make this list twice. But here Sam Shields is. Last year Sam was a popular option among Lions fans. The thought was that Sam would get over his injury trouble he had Green Bay and get back to the Pro Bowl player he once was. The Lions passed and he signed with the rams. Then this happened.
Do we really need to continue this section of the article? Probably not.
Ok, everyone calm down. Just hear me out here. I know that Jason had one hell of a year in New England in 2018. That can’t be ignored. He graded out at 82.3 by PFF. Again, that’s really attractive. He also has that Patriot way connection that Lions fans and media members alike love to throw around. But there’s some issues.
The first one is that you’re thinking of Devin McCourty. Jason’s twin brother. Devin has spent his entire career with New England and has that connection with Lions coach Matt Patricia. Jason only played with the Patriots for one year. Last year. So there is no connection there. It’ll be harder to get him to Detroit. Not to mention trying to pry him away from playing with his brother. Who would want to leave that situation? Probably someone looking for a big contract.
That’s where the problem lies. McCourty is 31 years old. He’ll be 32 when the preseason starts. The Lions would like have to dish out some real cash to get Jason on a one or two year rental and who knows what you’re going to get? The truth is McCourty hasn’t been all that great outside of last year. In fact, when the trade to get Jason to come to New England went down, CBS was going on and on about how the much better Malcom Butler was than McCourty. Butler has been really bad since leaving the Patriots. Another bullet dodged by the Lions.
If the Lions go and get anyone from the Patriots secondary, it should be Eric Rowe. Coincidentally another corner on my draft wish list not too long ago. He’s worked with Patricia, he’s still young and he will be a hell of a lot cheaper than McCourty.