ESPN: The Lions' best, worst FA signings since 2015

Best free-agent signing: WR Marvin Jones Jr. In the days after wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s retirement, the Lions signed Jones to a five-year, $40 million deal that has worked out in every way. Jones has 213 catches for 3,318 yards and 27 touchdowns in his first four seasons with the Lions and fit well alongside both Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay, becoming one of the better contested-ball receivers in the NFL. Jones has dealt with injuries – he landed on injured reserve in 2018 and 2019 – but enters 2020 with the possibility of his second 1,000-yard season.

Worst free-agent signing: TE Jesse James. James signed a four-year, $22.6 million deal last offseason and was almost immediately usurped by first-round pick T.J. Hockenson. James finished his first year in Detroit with 16 catches for 142 yards – his lowest totals since his rookie season – and had fewer targets (27) than he had receptions in any of his previous three years in Pittsburgh (39, 43, 30). He also was held without a touchdown in a season for the first time in his career. While he still has time to improve, this signing looks worse every time James doesn’t see many targets. – Michael Rothstein

You probably won’t be surprised at who’s listed as the Miami Dolphins’ worst FA signing:

Worst free-agent signing: DT Ndamukong Suh. This was an easy pick, as Suh signed what was the largest contract in NFL history in 2015 – six years, $114 million with $60 million guaranteed. He lasted just three years before being cut in March 2018, with then-coach Adam Gase citing a need for a culture change. What made this deal so bad wasn’t Suh’s play, but that it was a predictable failure coupled with the large amount of dead money ($9.1 million in 2018, $13.1 million in 2019) that won’t fully be off the Dolphins’ books until the 2020 league year. – Cameron Wolfe

Signing James made no sense to me if you’re drafting Hockenson top 10. Drafting Hockenson top 10 made no sense to me if you signed James. Having both and then in no way emphasizing TEs in your passing attack generally made it even more puzzling.


This is so true. It was obvious from the very start that he would never be a Dolphin beyond the 3rd year. His leaving Detroit didn’t just cost Mayhew a job, it cost him millions.

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I remember when it came out how close the Lions were to the Dolphins offer, and he chose Miami, I was happy. I really liked Suh. He was extremely talented, our defense really felt it when he left. But I did not want that much tied up in him either

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