Outside of the Matthew Stafford trade, the Detroit Lions have had a pretty unassuming offseason. But according to one NFL analyst, that’s exactly what they should be doing right now.
Dan Hanzus of NFL Network’s “Around The NFL” went as far as saying the Lions having one of the most logical offseason of any other team in the NFL right now.
“I think this is an unpopular opinion, but I think the Lions are having one of the smartest offseasons of any team in the league right now,” Hanzus recently said.
“When you look at what they’re doing right now, the Matthew Stafford trade was kind of brilliant. They’re a team in a rebuild and a 33-year-old quarterback. You get him out of town and get two first-round picks back, Jared Goff as well, of course, and he’s going to be a stop-gap guy for them as they do this rebuild. And they can afford that.”
While the Lions certainly did well for themselves with the Stafford trade, it’s also worth pointing out they didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. It was Stafford who initiated talks about a trade, and there wasn’t much of a decision to make on the Lions’ part. Holding their own quarterback hostage wasn’t going to happen for a new regime. That being said, the Lions handled the trade just about as well as anyone could and certainly got a fair deal in return.
But Hanzus was also impressed with how the Lions have handled free agency.
“Every signing they’ve made this offseason is a one-year deal with the exception of Jamaal Williams,” Hanzus said. “Clearly a teardown, so just commit to it and then live for a brighter day down the line. I think they have a franchise vision, as tough as this season’s going to be.”
One of his co-hosts, Marc Sessler, agreed.
“They finally realize, ‘Well, we are the Detroit Lions, let’s be real about what the situation is,’” Sessler said. “They sold high on Matthew Stafford. I think Brad Holmes, the new GM, is coming from that LA Rams, Les Snead world, where you’re going to be bold and daring. They’re just kind of saying, ‘Look at it. We get it. We’re going to need a couple of years.’”
The third in their trio, however, wasn’t as optimistic. Gregg Rosenthal sees the vision in mind, but can’t look past what he clearly believes is a very poor roster right now.
“That all sounds nice until you’re assigned to watch the Lions with their No. 1 receiver Tyrell Williams, their No. 2 receiver Breshad Perriman and it’s like a steamy hot pile of milk,” Rosenthal said. “You’re going to be missing Matthew Stafford.”
But Rosenthal, along with Sessler, believe that the Lions’ current draft position at seven overall puts them in a nice place where they will likely have a shot at a quarterback, which can reboot a franchise in an instant.
“It is possible that one of these quarterbacks can fall to them and change everything,” Sessler said.
“I’m with you on the number 7 pick—one of these quarterbacks is probably going to fall. Take him. Don’t wait around,” Rosenthal added. “I think Justin Fields and Trey Lance both have the talent where they could have been a top-two pick in a different draft.”
So while we’re still months away from any football to be played, and likely years away from seeing Brad Holmes’ vision come to fruition, the Lions’ new regime has already won over some analysts, and they could win over a few more if they tackle next week’s draft wisely.