Lions sign NT Danny Shelton (2 years, $8 million): A Grade
The Lions have made some dubious signings in free agency thus far, so it’s nice to see them make a positive move for once. I actually love this signing by Detroit, and I’m giving it an “A” grade.
Danny Shelton is a monstrous run stuffer, and he also managed to improve in the pass-rushing department last year. I thought that would increase his value in free agency, but it didn’t for some reason. The Lions will stand to benefit, as they’re getting him cheaply to fill a big need. Also, Shelton played in New England recently, so transitioning into Matt Patricia’s system won’t be any sort of issue.
Lions sign CB Desmond Trufant (2 years, $21 million): A Grade
The Lions were looking for a cornerback to start across from Darius Slay, and they may have found one, at least temporarily. It sounds as though Detroit will trade Slay, so Trufant may end up as the Lions’ new No. 1 corner. If that happens, the team will still be in good hands.
Trufant turns 30 in September, so he’s not the same corner he once was. However, he’s still a very skilled cornerback who can match up well with most top receivers. There would be a bit of risk attached to him if he were signed to a long contract, but this is just a 2-year deal, so there’s barely any downside with this transaction.
Lions sign QB Chase Daniel (3 years, $13.05 million): B+ Grade
Chase Daniel continues to corner the market on backup quarterback funds. He’s received so many decent contracts just to be a reserve signal-caller, and yet, here’s another one.
Daniel is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL. The average going rate for mediocre No. 2 signal-callers is around $4 million per season, and that’s what Daniel will be getting from Detroit, so I like this move. The Lions really needed someone like Daniel, as Matthew Stafford is likely to miss some time in 2020 with his troublesome back.
Lions sign LB Jamie Collins (3 years, $30 million): B+ Grade
This resembles the Dolphins’ Kyle Van Noy signing I discussed earlier today. Jamie Collins has been tremendous as a Patriot, but failed elsewhere. I was worried history would repeat itself, but Collins appeared to have a similar thought process, as he’ll be playing for Bill Belichick’s former defensive coordinator going forward.
Collins should do well in Detroit if he doesn’t regress due to age; he’ll turn 31 in October. He should be able to perform on a high level for at least a couple of seasons. This is a reasonable price for Collins, so I think Detroit deserves a B+ for this move.
Lions sign OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (5 years, $50 million): D Grade
Here’s what I wrote about Halapoulivaati Vaitai in my free agency rankings:
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, commonly known as “Big V,” has been one of the best backup tackles in the NFL. He has earned the right to compete for a starting job at right tackle somewhere.
Apparently, the right to compete for a starting right tackle job is worth a $50 million deal over five years. Unreal. Vaitai has done somewhat well in spot starts, serving as an excellent backup tackle. There’s a major difference between that and expecting him to be an upgrade over the recently released Ricky Wagner, which would be far fetched when not accounting for Wagner’s injuries. Wagner’s injuries can’t be ignored, but still, this is a major overpay and must be graded accordingly.