Free company is a good alternative for NFL groups to bolster their rosters. But poor choices in free company can break them simply as simply.
This is one thing Detroit Lions GM Brad Holmes is aware of properly. Here’s what Holmes stated on the mix that spotlights his cautious method to free company.
“I told you guys at the end of the season, we’ll always be selective and strategic in free agency, and you’ve gotta be really careful in free agency,” Holmes acknowledged. “But when I said that, it’s all about still finding the right guys. It’s not about how much money you have to spend. Regardless of how many resources you have, always being selective and strategic in that process. We’re just trying to find the right guys. I think we’ve done that in the past. A lot of the free agents we signed, they’ve had some really good years, and we gotta make some hard decisions here.”
Here are 5 free brokers who simply don’t look like good concepts for the Lions. It might be the (anticipated) price ticket, tradition match, or maybe a poor schematic match.
Beckham is a poor match for just a few causes. Foremost is his incapacity to remain on the sphere. He missed all the 2022 season after tearing his ACL whereas taking part in for the Rams within the Super Bowl. It’s the identical ACL he tore the prior season in Cleveland after seven video games. OBJ has missed at the least 4 video games each season besides one since 2016 with a litany of accidents that additionally impression his availability on the apply subject; Beckham didn’t take part in a single contact apply in his two-plus years in Cleveland.
He’s been a spectacular participant, a receiver able to doing issues few others can–when he’s on the sphere. And Beckham desires to be paid as such, with rumors of the flamboyant wideout seeking $20 million per season. That’s a large dedication for a man with large sturdiness points. Even half that wage is simply too wealthy for Detroit.
Davenport is somebody who will get some point out with the Lions resulting from his Saints connections with head coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. A former first-rounder who has some pass-rush juice in a well-recognized defensive scheme, Davenport is sensible on the floor.
A deeper dig reveals a participant which may not be any higher than two present Lions, Charles Harris and Romeo Okwara. Last 12 months, Davenport bagged simply half a sack in 15 video games, taking part in nearly 500 snaps. Much like Okwara, he had a monster 2021 marketing campaign (9 sacks in 11 video games). That’s actually the one season the place the 2018 first-rounder regarded worthy of that stage of choice.
Could Davenport show higher than Okwara or Josh Paschal or Harris or James Houston? Possibly. It behooves the Lions to not pay Davenport as a lot as Okwara ($11 million in 2023) to search out out.
Clowney is the intense shiny object for some followers. The former No. 1 general choose nonetheless has cache primarily based on his highlight-worthy performs made previously.
Alas, it’s the distant previous. Clowney, now 30, has 14 sacks within the final 4 seasons, taking part in in 47 video games throughout three groups. The final two of these had been spent in Cleveland getting nearly solely single blocking whereas offenses centered on Myles Garrett on the opposite facet. Clowney is an efficient run defender who may kick inside and be efficient, however in free company, you pay for sacks at his place.
The kicker is Clowney’s sturdiness. He’s missed at the least 4 video games together with his surgically repaired knee yearly since 2018. Pass.
Gaines is one other participant with easy-to-connect dots with Detroit; he was a fourth-round choose by the Rams whereas Lions GM Brad Holmes was the director of collegiate scouting for Los Angeles. He’s a 312-pound nostril deal with with plenty of expertise and a few means to hurry the passer from the within, with 4 sacks in every of the final two seasons.
Gaines, who turns 27 in May, has confirmed sturdy and definitely provides a possible improve alongside the Lions’ skinny line of defense. But he’s simply not a fantastic schematic match. The Lions protection desires the nostril deal with to play the run initially, however that’s not what Gaines does properly. He has bottom-third Pro Football Focus grades in each run protection and tackling in two of the final three seasons.
If the Lions are going to pay for a nostril deal with, there are higher choices that solidify the run protection so much higher than Gaines would.
Mayfield was drafted No. 1 general in 2018 by John Dorsey, now a senior assistant within the Lions entrance workplace. He’s had a really fascinating profession. Mayfield the NFL rookie passing TD document and two years later, he led the Browns to their first playoff win since 1994, in Pittsburgh with head coach Kevin Stefanski lacking the sport due to COVID-19. He’s additionally famously clashed with Stefanski and coaches Hue Jackson and Freddie Kitchens earlier than him, taking part in poorly (whereas injured) sufficient in 2021 to get exiled from QB-desperate Cleveland.
Mayfield accepted the backup QB position in Los Angeles in 2022 after flopping in Carolina. He performed properly sufficient for the Rams after Matthew Stafford’s damage, however not properly sufficient to persuade anybody he’s price a profitable contract. There are many veteran backup QB choices on the market this offseason who can present the identical stage of play a Mayfield with out almost as a lot drama or volatility.