Top Six 2020 Lions Off-Season Decisions

This is the most important off-season I can remember for the Lions. Lots if free agents, some cap room, we have some solid players and a ton of question marks.

To me all decisions flow together and all decisions affect one another. I believe the Lions are looking at their off-season in a similar way noting there is pretty much a hard salary cap in place. This is how I am looking at the top five decisions the Lions need to resolve and the order they need to be resolved.

  1. I think WR Kenny Golladay needs as extension first and foremost. This guy is a stud, Stafford’s go to guy and a must lock down long-term. Kenny has earned a large contract and we need to know his numbers now as we will likely get a better price now versus letting Kenny play out 2020 with no contract. Get these numbers in place and get a deal done now. That affects $ available as Kenny will likely be one of the top paid Lions in 2021.

  2. We need a Slay solution and we need it now. We are better with him than without him. But if he will not re-sign here we need ti trade him immediately. Get value for him now so the rest of the off-season plan can be put in place. I hope we extend him with a solid contract as he has earned it. He is a good player and we need him. If we trade him we can use that asset and we can also plan on life without Slay if necessary.

  3. We need to lock down Graham Glasgow. There is no way we are better without Graham. Lock this guy down knowing that we can have our starting guards locked down for a few more seasons between Dahl and Glasgow. As Ragnow has three seasons left on his rookie deal that isn’t a lot to spend on what will be a solid interior in 2020.

  4. We need an answer from Damon Harrison and tied closely to that we need to game the #3 pick. We may remain in wait-and-see mode with Harrison if he doesn’t commit to 2020 for the Lions but that also means the plan for life after Harrison needs to start in 2020 even if the big man comes back. If Harrison retires we need his replacement via a free agent in 2020 I think. This defense cannot rely upon a rookie to replace Harrison alone.

  5. The Lions need to know what they want to do in the draft with the #3 pick as that will directly affect how we approach the rest on 2020’s free agency period.

I want to explore this one as Chase Young MIGHT be out there. Derrick Brown WILL be there. the top CB WILL be there.

To me if we go after a run stuffer that signals Harrison is gone or likely not coming back. Now…directly tied to this is the fact that the Lions signed Mike Daniels at all tells me they want a Harrison-like guy here and that we want a Mike Daniels like guy here too.

See how this is all tied together? Slay is the tough bit as we don’t get better without Slay and if we need ti get rid of Slay that signals to me at least two veteran signings as well as a top pick in the secondary. Would trading Slay yield a first round pick if necessary? That seems steep to me…but a second round pick? That might get it done. But if Slay is gone for draft picks that says to me the top CB is coming here as well as hitting free agency for a different. But we will be worse at CB in 2020 without Slay as a team trading for Say knows they can too just hit the free agency market without giving up a draft pick. In the end I think Slay stays here with an expensive extension.

IF Slay stays…pick one is unlikely to be a CB. DL is the need but Chase might be sitting there.

The more I game this out if we extend Kenny, extend Slay, extend Glasgow (all expensive moves) that signals to me that Derrick Brown will be the pick here even at #3 and possibly over Chase Young.

I expect Chase Young to go to the Panthers as their J. Peppers though. The Redskins would have a crazy, almost stupid good DL with Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis. Maybe possibly the best in the league. Young too. Ryan Kerrigan becomes an after thought there as they transition to a 4/3 defense. Scary good.

If we get DT Derrick Brown (who missed no tackles in 2019; https://www.rotoworld.com/college-football/nfl-draft/player/39288/derrick-brown) that really solidifies the DL with Flowers, Harrison (or not!), Derrick Brown and D. Hand as well as other guys.

That leads me directly to #6…DT A’Shawn Robinson. As much as I have wanted him to stay I think this is the gone guy. I think Kenny is extended, Slay stays and we extend Glasgow. I think we game drafting DT Derrick Brown and Robinson walks.

With all that in mind the rest of free agency can proceed with those moves in mind.

As $ is a scare resource that us a lot of cheddar the Lions spent. They can let Decker play out the last year of his deal while they see what happens. But more free agents will be required and I think another veteran DT is essential even if we game drafting Derrick Brown. I don’t know who but there are a lot of options out there.

Thoughts about the top options facing the Lions?

I think that re-signing Slay and Golladay are both priorities. They are both foundation pieces of he team and actually Slay is much harder to replace, so I would put him first.

I would love to see Glasgow re-signed, but I think Quinn and Patricia have decided they need that money in other areas.

I would say that FA is where the Lions fill all of their needs possible. What is left may determine where they go in the draft, but position value still matters. There are scenarios where Young, Brown, Okudah or Simmons can be very successful directions for the Lions depending on FA. Saying that I suspect Washington will go Young and it is unlikely the Lions sign a top penetrating DT in FA. Brown has to be the odds on favorite for the Lions, but both Okudah and Simmons give the Lions unique pieces to use if they do get someone. Our LB’s are the worst in the NFL so Simmons may give the biggest upgrade, but is riskier than the other two.

The Lions already fouled-up the most impactful offseason decision… retaining Patricia.

With that in place, I fear everything else is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

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Yep. Next year is another write off. As long as Patricia is the head coach the Lions will continue to suck. Lions are much closer to 0-16 than making playoffs.

Yep, retaining Quinntricia has just further delayed the timing for the next decent Lions team. I figure we will win 6-8 games next year. Just enough for the crypt keepers grandma to keep them along for yet another season.

I hear ya’ Jr. One can flip Slay and Golladay for sure. I placed Kenny first as he is likely to want to be here, his value is clear as a younger player and his situation can create more cap certainty as they turn to deal with Slay. But ya, flipping them works for me as Slay’s situation has a larger ripple affect on the roster.

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I think Snacks will be back for one more year. He doesn’t want to go out after a sub-par season and the money is hard to turn down. I think he’ll get healthy this off-season and will feel mentally stronger too.

You keep Slay no matter what. I’d like to see him get an extension but would not pay him top 5 money. He has not been at his best in recent years but is still a VG CB.

I think Glasgow is a bit overrated by Lions fans. He’s OK, and is versatile but I wouldn’t pay him a ton of money. I’m OK if he stays or goes. It would be nice to keep some continuity going with the OL but some team may overpay for his services. I don’t want to get into a bidding war for a slightly above average OG. You can find his quality guard in the 3rd round every year.

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My biggest issue with Snacks is that after he mentioned that retirement was an option, you have to wonder if his heart is in it esp if he stays and we have a slow start. That moved the needle for me to selecting Brown.

John Lynch and Kyle Shannahan 49’ers won 4 games lat year.
Let’s see what Quinn and Patricia have.

That was at the end of a lousy season and he was beat up. I’d take those comments with a grain of salt. I’d bet that he’ll feel a lot better 3-4 months from now.

Fixed

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Those are three decisions we need to make, no question. I will start with Slay. He is well-regarded by the media. I think he is over-rated but that doesn’t mean he is not the best CB we have had for quite some time. I believe he will not be here. Two reasons. One, He ran his mouth and that will cost him with this administration. Two, I believe he wants out. Like Suh, he will take the offer from whoever pays him the most and that will not be Detroit. It is all about the Benjamins. Examining history, the Patriots pay mercenary CB’s, look for the Lions to sign one. Look for the Lions to trade Slay for a first round pick

Second decision is what to do with our other two guys Glasgow and Kenny G. Golladay needs to get paid, but the Patriots don’t pay WR’s except for superstars. Look for a veteran signing like Emmanuel Sanders and a draft pick like Tyler Johnson. I hope they work it out. I think the Lions bite the bullet, here. Glasgow will be a decision to watch. Will they reward him for being everything they could ask or will they sign someone similar to him for a bargain. My guess is they let the market play out and make a competitive offer. It is also my guess they keep the offense intact, because the offense isn’t broke.

3rd decision is do they choose the best players available or continue with the plan of improving the roster with overall talent. At three, we can draft one of four defensive playmakers: in order, Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown. A short drop virtually guarantees the impact player. A more precipitous drop means propping up the roster.

I agree that GG is slightly better than average and versatile. He is also very consistent and doesn’t miss games, which in itself contributes to a more consistent o line. Is he worth the money? Debatable. Remember the last two OG’s we drafted in the first 3 rounds, who were determined to not be worthy of a decent contract extension? One is playing in the super bowl and the other has been a rock for the saints…while the pathetic excuse we have for an offensive line continues to struggle with getting the job done.

I believe we should lock him up long term and not look back. There are no guarantees this front office can find a suitable replacement. People keep saying you can find great replacements at a cheaper price or in the later rounds of the draft. We have witnessed first hand the complete ineptitude of this front office to make that happen, so what makes you think they would get it right this time?

What ever happened to develop and keep the draft picks you got right? He may not be a pro bowler or HOFer, but he is solid and consistent. A 3rd round pick will take time to develop, so why would we want to start from scratch? That makes no sense to me.

Personally, I admit I frowned at the draft pick when we drafted him. I was wrong. Now I’m disgusted with the thought that we are going to let him go and he will wind up on another team and playing meaningful games in January, while we will be discussing how we f’d that move up next year at this time.

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The Lions will make a competitive offer. Glasgow will want to make his money. Only question is will the Lions make a competitive offer or not. If GG doesn’t have to pull up stakes and can make comparable money, he might stay. This is not a decision the team would be forced to make, Glasgow will choose. The team made the same kind of decision with Warford and Tomlinson. Both were the correct decisions for the situation at the time. The front office was getting the cap under control and could not pay to retain guys. Hell, Tomlinson wasn’t even starting. Warford played worse than he had his first two years. Our OL coach was a moron who couldn’t keep a job with the freaking Lions. Like it or not, they were the correct choices. Now, the Lions have a chance to retain that type of player. The front office is in better fiscal shape, no matter what anyone thinks about the football acumen.

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Yup! What would our OL look like with Decker, GG, Ragnow, Warford, Reiff?
Not the best in the NFL, but pretty damn solid. You can definitely run behind that line and aren’ t forced to use your TEs as permanent OLmen.

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Seriously Yooper? They were the correct decisions at the time? How do you justify it when they have both gone on to be pretty damn solid players for someone else? How is that the correct decision? How do you know they will make a competitive offer? You have a lot more confidence in this regime than I do.

You said “The Lions will make a competitive offer.” Then you said two sentences later, “Only question is will the Lions make a competitive offer or not.” WTF? You contradict yourself in the same paragraph, but yet you think letting a ProBowler in Warford walk was ‘the right decision’…

It’s these ‘right decisions at the time’, that continue to haunt this team down the road. It’s disgusting and a portrayal of complete ineptitude.

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Because “gone onto” is hindsight.
Tomlinson was labeled a bust and many people were grateful he got anything for Mayhew’s last 1st round pick. He had played his way off the team, essentially. I was a huge Tomlinson fan when he came out. I thought he was the only OL player that looked worthy of a 1st round pick. We got him but he failed here. Warford looked like a gem in his 1st year but then fell off a great deal. Injury and performance put enough question marks around him that it wasn’t worth the gamble at FA time.

Establishing a solid OL was clearly an emphasis of the current regime. I don’t fault them for moving on from either Warford or Tomlinson. I don’t fault them for that draft that landed Decker, Glasgow and Dahl. I do fault them spending big FA money on Lang and Wagner as part of their rebuild. I don’t fault them for moving on from Reiff as a LT and his leaving to be a LT for the Vikes. They can have him. But the moves to replace these guys are suspect. Wiggins? I’ve seen him literally lifted up and thrown backwards 5 yards by a defender.

They finally have something going, IMO, with Decker, Dahl and Ragnow. Build on that. Glasgow is expendable. Not because we have question marks about who he is, it’s because they know exactly who he is and are willing to move on. Personally, I want to see a guy that doesn’t get caught staring at the turf when the ball is snapped so often, and a guy that gets more push than he gives up. If that comes at the expense of down-field blocking, I’m ok with that because first and foremost the OL should be good in the trenches.

Warford was not playing at a high level when we let him go . Warford was not a fit here for the type of offense we ran after the departure of Reggie and Bell guys we ran predominately from under center.

Asking Warford a dominant run blocker or any lineman to predominantly run plays from shotgun both pass and run was not conducive to Warford’s skill set and it showed .
Warford being asked to sell pass first and not fire off at the man in front of him in the run game was moronic and our patented delayed hand off from shotgun and planting the ball in the belly of a stationary RB Abdullah as our staple run play was puke at best .
Warford shined as a RG when we ran the ball from under center. Just as he has shined with the Saints with Ingram and Kamara, a run game that mostly ran from under center .
Letting go of Warford was not the issue, it was the right move for what we were doing …TJ Lang not staying healthy was the issue , for what we wanted to do Lang was better and shined when healthy over Warford .

Do you want to argue about decisions that are not made in a vacuum. The decisions to cut those players or let them go in free agency was made at a time when we were in cap hell. We are not in cap hell, now. I say the Lions will make a competitive offer. Or rather they will make an offer they believe is competitive. We will have to see whether it is competitive enough to have GG stay. I believe they have a value in mind. If GG exceeds it they will have to decide whether or not to make a more competitive offer. So both are acceptable ways of getting that point across. That is the way FA works. Players gather offers and leverage those offers to get more money. The Lions have an idea what they want to pay GG. GG will test free agency, if he gets an offer better than Quinn’s offer, he will most likely say the Giants will pay me 4.5 million for four years, will you come close to that and Quinn will have to decide to make another offer. It is not one and done.

I agree that Warford, Kyle Van Noy, and Tomlinson were not playing well for DET. I was happy to see them go too.

What pisses me off is seeing them play much much better for other teams. It’s pretty damn obvious that the Lions coaching (and scheme) has not been good. Folks tend to underplay the importance of good coaching.
That could be the razor’s edge in terms of being successful from year to year. Talent is #1 and then comes good coaching. Why do you think Belichick seems to squeeze every ounce of talent from the players he coaches?

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