I’m Afraid To Say It…But I Like What The Lions Are Doing!
It is always scary when people (fans and/or media) praise our gridiron heroes, the Detroit Lions.
And I know I might be putting the C-Bush Curse on the Lions for saying this, but...
I LIKE WHAT THE DETROIT LIONS ARE DOING THIS OFF-SEASON!!!
It looks like, for the first time in my lifetime, that the Lions finally have the right people in place in executive Brad Holmes (pictured) and head coach Dan Campbell. FINALLY!!!
Let's start with the signings on defense:
The Lions have addressed a lot of needs on defense. They have brought back defensive linemen Isiah Buggs and John Comminsky to help the pass rush with burgeoning star Aidan Hutchinson.
They brought back linebackers Alex Anzalone and (after a year in Houston) Jalen Reeves-Maybin to stabilize those positions.
They also signed Cameron Sutton away from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Emmanuel Mosley away from San Francisco to improve the cornerback positions greatly.
At safety, Will Harris and CJ Moore were signed back. and they also added Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on a one-year deal. With Tracy Walker coming back after missing most of last season due to injury, this is another position of improvement.
On offense, they've brought back guard Graham Glasgow and tackle Matt Nelson to improve O-Line depth.
At running back, Craig Reynolds returns and free agent signing David Montgomery will need to be as good as Jamaal Williams was last season to justify that signing (which led to Williams's departure to New Orleans). And they still have D'Andre Swift, Greg Bell, and Jason Cabinda under contract for next season.
And kicker Michael Badgley is signed back for the 2023 season. He stabilized the position after Austin Seibert faltered.
THEY STILL HAVE PLENTY OF SALARY CAP SPACE
This is the most surprising thing out of all of these signings. According to overthecap.com, they still have about $26 million to sign their draft picks and fill out their 90-man roster for training camp. Spotrac.com says that the Lions are about $20 million under the cap.
They have also gotten veteran players Romeo Okwara and Halapoulivaati Vaitai to take pay cuts for the 2023 season (It was reportedly "Take a pay cut, or you're going to get cut").
They have also, reportedly, adjusted the contracts of punter Jack Fox and safety Tracy Walker to help with the cap. They can also use some of that money for a backup QB. And remember, they also need to give star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown an extension in the next year or so.
THE UPCOMNG DRAFT
With all of the signings the Lions have made this off-season, they'll probably use the draft to fill in depth at multiple positions on offense and defense. They still have the 6th and 18th overall picks in the first round. And they have eight picks in the Draft overall. Team executive Brad Holmes has lots of options there.
ONCE THE DRAFT IS OVER, IT'S TIME TO PROVE IT!
Nothing that I have said above will matter if the Lions are 1-6 after 7 games this season. Fans and media (myself included) will just say the popular refrain "Same Old Lions!"
2023 is the year the Lions NEED to make the playoffs. Winning the NFC North would be a bonus, but the bare minimum is the playoffs. Even if/when they get injuries, they gotta make the playoffs.
No more excuses, time to show it on the field.