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Just Say No: 4 free agents the Lions should avoid

Four free agents the Lions should run away from

Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year. Free agency begins in just five weeks and it’s time to start dreaming about the Detroit Lions signing players that have little-to-no chance of actually adding. However, like every year, there always seems to be a set of players that fans get hooked on that the Lions should avoid completely. The latter is what we’re talking about today. That’s right, Lions fans, it’s “Just Say No” season again.

You guys know how it works by now. But if you don’t, we scour the interwebs looking for Lions fans free agent dream signings and we crush those foolish dreams. Let’s jump right into it.

Todd Gurley

I get what you’re thinking. Doesn’t Todd Gurley already play for the Lions? After all, he did help them beat the Falcons back in October. All dumb jokes aside, this is a signing that has some possibility to it. The Falcons aren’t likely to bring Gurley back and there’s certainly some connection between Gurley and the Lions that doesn’t involve accidental touchdowns.

Gurley, of course, was scouted new Lions general manager Brad Holmes and with Kerryon Johnson’s status seemingly up in the air, it’s not hard to believe the Lions would want to go full Georgia Bulldogs and pair Gurley up with D’Andre Swift. But it’s not a good idea.

Gurley has been trending downward for some time now. This past season, the Falcons practically gave up on Gurley halfway through the season. From Week 11 on, he had no more than nine carries and topped out at 26 yards. The rest of the season wasn’t too great either. Other than a 121 yard game against the Panthers, Gurley’s best game in 2020 was an 80 yard game against the Bears.

Gurley is only 26 years old. Maybe there’s still hope for him out there. Especially since this is the same guy who just three years ago was the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. On the other hand, maybe there’s not. Is he worth the risk?

A.J. Green

What happened to this guy? At one point in time A.J. Green was one of the most feared receivers in the NFL. These days, he’s nothing but an afterthought in the NFL. Green has fallen off a cliff as of late. Injuries have been a bit part of his downfall, having missed half the 2018 season and the entire 2019 season.

In 2020, his issues weren’t health, they were catching the ball. Green was targeted 104 times and only caught 47 passes. On top of all that, he’s on the wrong side of 30 and I have a hard time seeing any team signing him. This should be an easy pass for the Lions.

Marvin Jones Jr.

Hey, a familiar face. Look, I get it, Jones had a pretty decent season in 2020 and had some big games in Kenny Golladay’s absence. Remember that Week 17 game? Good times. I wouldn’t be mad if the Lions decided to keep Marvin Jones. He’s only 30 and he certainly has a lot left in the tank. Still, bringing Jones back just doesn’t feel right.

The Lions are embarking on a rebuild and find themselves in the interesting position to completely retool their receiving corps with guys that get separation and bring serious speed to this new offense. Marvin Jones isn’t that guy, and he’s probably going to be more expensive than those guys.

Jones is going to get paid decent money this offseason and every dollar that goes to him is a dollar that takes away the Lions’ chances to bring back Kenny Golladay or sign some younger receivers. It’s time to move on and try some new things.

Not to mention, Jones is clearly on his way to Los Angeles.

Patrick Peterson

It feels like we’ve been flirting with this one for a long time. Back in the day, Martin Mayhew wanted Patrick Peterson in the draft so bad he could taste it. In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Lions tried to offer the Cardinals the 13th pick, a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick to move up and take Peterson. As we know, it didn’t work out. Since then, Lions fans have conjured up trade or free agency scenarios for Peterson every offseason.

Well it’s time to stop conjuring. Patrick Peterson is no longer the player that Lions fans have always thirsted after. In 2020, Peterson had himself a pretty bad year. He allowed 50 receptions and earned of PFF grade of 55.2. How bad is that? It’s only slightly better than the Lions’ highest-graded corner Amani Oruwariye, who graded out at 50.4.

While Peterson would still somehow be an instant upgrade over any of the Lions’ other corners, Detroit cannot afford to settle for just that, especially after a year in which the Lions fielded the worst defense in franchise history.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.