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Monday open thread: Will the Lions be competitive in 2022?

How soon can the Lions get their rebuild going?

Indianapolis Colts v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The road from rebuild to success can be a long one. But for the Detroit Lions, how long could that be?

It is unlikely that the Lions will be competitive in 2021, and the front office seems to acknowledge that. Out of all of their free agent signings thus far, only Jamaal Williams was signed for longer than one year. The plan for 2021 seems clear: bring in stopgaps with upside. If they fail, there is no long-term harm. If they succeed, then the team can bring them back in a similar or expanded role.

But what does that mean for 2022?

It is hard to predict what will happen, given that the 2021 season has yet to occur, but 2022 figures to be the ‘real’ test for Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell. After a year of rebuilding and ironing out their scheme, can the Lions put together a competitive roster? The plethora of draft picks accumulated by the Lions so far—including compensatory picks—will hopefully pay dividends by then. Meanwhile, we will be able to determine if the struggles of the Lions defense in 2020 was solely the result of Matt Patricia or if the players were equally at fault.

Today’s Question of the Day is:

Will the Lions be competitive in 2022?

My answer: I don’t think they will.

The Lions have a lot of holes on their roster, and the 2021 draft alone won’t be able to alleviate the woes. We will likely be seeing subpar starters in multiple spots, especially on defense. While I am not concerned about their performance in 2021, I am concerned about the roster afterwards. All of those one-year contracts merely kick the roster holes into next year, and barring some surprises from the low-risk free agent acquisitions, the 2022 offseason figures to be equally vital for the rebuild. The Lions will likely have a young team in 2022, and I am not certain that they will be hitting their stride yet.

I think 2023 being the Lions’ first competitive season seems more likely. This lines up with Jared Goff’s timeline, who becomes cuttable in 2023. Should he struggle during his first few seasons in Detroit, the Lions might have a young quarterback waiting in the wings to take over. If Goff impresses, he will have earned his restructured contract, and an improving roster figures to help him greatly.

Additionally, this could be a prime opportunity in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers will be 40 in 2023, and retirement is a likely option—or so we can hope. The Bears, meanwhile, will likely be on pace for a rebuild of their own, having wasted their prime by having Mitchell Trubisky at the helm. The Vikings are in a tough spot with the salary cap, and the next few seasons could see them shedding some quality starters.

Do you think the Lions will be competitors in 2022? Do you think it will be longer than that? Or do you think the Lions will pull off a one-year turnaround and compete in 2021?

Your turn.

Poll

Will the Lions be competitive in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Yes
    (830 votes)
  • 17%
    No — they’ll compete in 2021
    (377 votes)
  • 43%
    No — they’ll compete in 2023 or later
    (934 votes)
2141 votes total Vote Now