Blogs > Lions Lowdown

One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions - Three smart moves made in NFL free agency

NFL free agency started Tuesday afternoon and the Detroit Lions, like most NFL teams, were active. It’s not over but most of the heavy lifting is done.

Here are three reasons the Lions have been smart in free agency so far.

1. The team filled two big needs — No. 2 wide receiver and starting safety — without over-paying. Golden Tate, who just won the Super Bowl with the Seahawks six weeks ago, may be a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver. Whatever, he will fit in well with the Lions offense. He is known for having good hands — rarely drops a ball. And he came in at a reasonable price — five years for $31.5 million with a $3.1 million salary cap hit this year. While they haven’t signed safety James Ihedigbo, it will happen, probably next week. Ihedigbo played for Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin with the Ravens the past two seasons. He’s 30, still has a lot of football left. Now they can draft a safety or two and groom an eventual starter. Since he hasn’t signed, terms are not available. But Ihedigbo’s contract is expected to be reasonable.

2. They got tight end Brandon Pettigrew back without breaking the bank. He signed for four years, $16 million with $8 million guaranteed and a $2.25 million cap hit in 2014. Pettigrew is a two-way tight end that helps the run game as a blocker and the pass game.  He cut down on his drops substantially  in 2013. He and Matthew Stafford have a familiarity which Pettigrew said was one of the reasons he returned to Detroit.

3. Depth for the defensive line was added at tackle and end. Defensive tackle Vaughn Martin was cut by the Dolphins in November following sports hernia surgery. He spent his first four seasons with San Diego, starting 27 games in 2011 and 2012. Also, defensive end Darryl Tapp who knows defensive line assistant Jim Washburn who he played for two years with the Eagles and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin when both were in Seattle. Tapp’s stats were on the decline in recent years but he made it clear — just like Ndamukong Suh has — that stats don’t tell the whole story for defensive linemen. Last year with the Redskins he played outside linebacker in a 3-4 for the first time ever. He’ll be much more at home back at defensive end in a 4-3. Both these guys were reasonable and it seems good value for the buck. We’ll see in the fall.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home