Let’s start with this: players don’t come to Detroit looking for a championship. They won’t take a discount for a ring cuz the chances of that are pretty damn slim. Maybe that changes in a year or two, but that’s the way it is. The other reasons are a chance to be a starter and make the bigger bucks, and/or they know somebody in the organization, maybe another player who was their bud somewhere along the line. Mostly though, it comes down to the money, the Lions are left with trying to offer enough money to those who are willing to come here.
That said, when a team signs an FA, they want to avoid signing guys that they don’t really know. You don’t want to pay somebody good money who either doesn’t fit in your scheme of things, or who won’t make the effort on every snap. And that’s the hard part, cuz a guy who was really good on another team might not be as good when you ask him to do something different. And there’s a learning curve too, different culture, everything.
All of which leads up to this: you can’t build a winning team and a winning culture if you keep playing guys who are not performing up to their contract. That’s why Wagner is gone. Period. The Lions want to improve their running game, so they replaced him with a good runblocking RT. If the guy was also good as passpro, his contract would be $15 mil instead of $10 and that’s if his old team let him hit the market in the 1st place. You can do stuff to partially hide his liabilities, like line-up a TE or a 6th OL next to him, or call more running plays and fewer pass plays so he doesn’t have to passpro as much, or you call more quick passes so the defense doesn’t have the time to get to Stafford. All in all, the Lions got better at that important position. Winner.
Now let’s talk about Glasgow, who was a pretty decent player that had the versatility to play at Center if needed. BUT - he was an FA who was going to get somewhere between $10/12 mil/yr from somebody, maybe more. Can you pay Glasgow, knowing you gotta pay about the same for an RT, and knowing that Ragnow will probably get paid more than that next year, and then there’s Decker next year too. How much money do you invest in that OL among all 5 guys, also knowing that you gotta upgrade your sorry defense too? It’s a business decision in a tough business.
What about Collins? An older player to be sure, but a guy who knows Patricia’s defense pretty well. Some guys go downhill once they head north of 30, eventually everybody does at some point but maybe this guy will be more later than sooner. I doubt Quinn and Patricia would have paid him that much if they didn’t think they’d get their money’s worth. Plus there’s the locker room attitude, Collins is not going to accept complacency IMHO, it’ll be interesting to see how the Lions defense looks and acts this year over 2019. Winner.
Then there’s Nick Williams. The Lions HAD to do something about their interior DL, with the departure of Harrision and apparently Robinson and Daniels. Maybe they bring back one of those guys, maybe not; probably depends on who they can get to sign here. Personally I’d love to see a runstuffin’ big guy clogging up the middle for us, but it comes down to money and some other team might outbid us. But at least they got somebody. So - filled a big need - Winner.
Finally, there’s Chase Daniel. A much better option than Driskel was or Blough. I still wanna see Sloter, got no idea how good he might be, but at least we got a backup QB who might not win us games if Stafford can’t play but won’t lose them for us either. I thought Driskel and Blough both lost games for us in the 4th qtr; I see Daniel as less likely to do that. Costs more money though, and that’s the gist of what I’m saying here. You do the best you can with the money you’ve got, the holes you gotta fill, and the decisions that the players make for where they want to play next. The Lions can’t do anything about that last thing, and they can’t control what the other 31 teams are doing either.