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Monday open thread: How many starters on the offensive line will return in 2020?

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We could see a noteworthy turnover in the trenches.

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Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions’ 2019 season was most certainly a disappointment, but lost in the misery of a three-win season was the performance of the offensive line.

Bob Quinn has spent a lot, from draft assets to free agent capital, on improving the offensive line, and their 2019 performance was one of the few positives on the year. Despite the perplexing guard rotation, the line held quite well over the course of the season. PFF ranked the Lions’ offensive line 11th overall, and that success is highly attributed to three players: Taylor Decker, Graham Glasgow, and Frank Ragnow.

The trio—all Quinn draft picks—were among the top rated linemen per PFF, with Decker as their 18th-ranked tackle, Glasgow the ninth-ranked guard, and Ragnow the sixth-ranked center. The other starters, Joe Dahl and Rick Wagner, performed admirably too. Despite the fact that the Lions were without Matthew Stafford and Kerryon Johnson for a majority of the season, the offensive line were a consistent force for the team, even if the end results were not positive.

With the 2020 offseason ahead, how many of these members stick around is up for debate.

Graham Glasgow, despite his success, seems unlikely to return. The Lions did not extend him last season, and all indicators are pointing towards him testing free agency. Much like when the Lions let Larry Warford walk, Glasgow’s performance could garner a larger contract than Detroit is willing to give.

Rick Wagner could also be on the move. Although he has been decent as a right tackle, he is slated to earn $11.9 million in 2020—the fourth highest cap hit on the team. Bob Quinn took a gamble signing Wagner to a five-year, $47.5 million contract back in 2017, and while it hasn’t failed, it hasn’t been a success either. The Lions could likely make due with a slightly worse tackle with a much smaller contract, such as Tyrell Crosby. Cutting Wagner would come with a dead cap hit of $5.8 million, and that $6.1 million in savings (if cut) could be spent filling the holes elsewhere.

The Lions could also save $10.35 million by cutting Taylor Decker, and that would have no dead cap hit. Obviously, this would mean releasing a solid starter, but if the Lions are looking to rebuild, and re-signing Decker in the future is unlikely, it could make sense.

There is also no guarantee that Joe Dahl will be a starter next season either. The Lions ran a guard rotation with Glasgow, Dahl, and Kenny Wiggins. Was it a sign that they were not satisfied with the performance of Glasgow and Dahl? Was it merely to keep the line healthy? Depending on the status of the other guard position, Dahl might be subjected to another rotation in 2020.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

How many starters on the offensive line will return in 2020?

My answer: I think four starters will return. For the sake of this question, I am considering the five starters in 2019 as Decker, Dahl, Ragnow, Glasgow, and Wagner.

As previously mentioned, it seems likely that Glasgow will not return. Do I agree with that move? Not in the slightest. He’s a young, talented lineman, and despite the hefty contract he will likely earn, I believe he would be worth it.

If I were the general manager, I would also cut Wagner. His performance has not been great enough to outweigh his contract. The 2020 free agency and draft classes have plenty of starting-caliber players, and I would rather see something invested there. However, it is a gamble that I don’t think Quinn will make.

Your turn.


How many starters on the offensive line will return in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (23 votes)
  • 39%
    (160 votes)
  • 50%
    (202 votes)
  • 3%
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    (2 votes)
403 votes total Vote Now