Free agency is usually a time for optimism and hope. New players means new potential which leads to endless possibilities.
The Detroit Lions have certainly given their fanbase hope in 2019. They’ve gone out and been extremely aggressive in free agency, nabbing some of the top talent available in this year’s class. Not only have they added some talented players, but many of them are entering what should be the prime of their careers.
But we all know the real story behind free agency. It’s typically full of contracts that will never see the final years and players that could very well be playing elsewhere next season. There are plenty of success stories that come out of free agency, but there’s a boatload of overspending and overhyping.
Maybe the Lions hit on literally every one of their signings, but there’s a pretty good chance Detroit made at least one error in judgement. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which Detroit Lions free agency signing are you most worried about?
My answer: I’m certainly least enthusiastic about the Danny Amendola signing, but with a one-year, $3.75 million contract on the line, the risk isn’t all that high.
That being said, I’m a little bit worried about the Justin Coleman addition. Coleman has played extremely well with the Seahawks, and by all accounts he should be a success story in the nickel for the Lions. But as a player that came out of nowhere and only has a couple years of success, there’s certainly a pretty big risk in handing him a hefty contract.
And a hefty contract it certainly is. Not only is Coleman the highest paid nickel corner in the NFL by average per year, but his cap is set to be the seventh-highest on the roster by next year ($9.03 million), and it only gets higher from there. With cap hits over $11 million in both 2021 and 2022, the Lions are really banking on Coleman not only being an immediate impact, but maintaining that level of play for at least the next three seasons. Detroit can’t even think about cutting Coleman until 2022, unless they plan on incurring at least $6 million in dead cap, and given the way they’ve been backloading contracts, that doesn’t seem like a great idea.
Overall, I love Coleman as a player, and I think he fits a huge need for Detroit. But given the contract and Coleman’s relative youth, it certainly is the most risky move the Lions have made thus far.