Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Roster Makeover, Part Deuce: FA Facts

Roster Makeover, Part Deuce: FA Facts

January 6th, 2010 | by detfan1979 |

There are so many stories, so little time. Seriously, though, I think every writer on the planet had their 2-14, Lions suck again, insert win-loss from last 2-10 years, call it a day story ready. Then of course, the “must get to .500 or else next season” guys. The “try to hire [insert mystical magical coach name here]” forces reared their ugly heads as well.

Wow. Hello, negativity. Do you still sell well?

I decided to lay down some frameworks for my examinations on the team, lest I fall into a couple of traps — the biggest one being that which I nearly tripped up on LAST ifseason — that Martin Mayhew is an extension of Matt Millen. Is he a great GM? Still remains to be seen. Is he different than Millen? A definite YES.

Thus, 0-16 is not to be inluded in his win-loss record. Mayhew/Schwartz/Lewand are 2-14. Period. They took over an 0-16 team and squeezed out 2 wins. Wahoo. Moving on from Win-Loss to specifics is what the next few months are all about.

Killer Kowalski had it right when he said that this is when Schwartz’s ruthless side will come out. His premise was that during the season, he had the guys he had and it was the coaching staff’s job to get as much out of them as possible. Now that the ifseason has arrived, it is time to see who you want to keep for next year, and who can be replaced with someone who is better — or at least has the potential to be. I totally agree with this.

Another thing we hear this time of year is endless mock drafts. Still too early for me to start looking at the draft. First, there is re-signing free agents (won’t be a lot of that happening on the Lions). Then, it is FA shopping to fill gaps with bodies before the draft. Just like last year, I fully expect them to have someone for each spot on the roster. This will again allow them to take the best player available, and continue to increase the overall talent level of the team.

However we might wish for certain players, there are some realities that we need to keep in mind before we go off on Mayhew for not bringing in “the guy” who we want:

  1. Free Agents are just that — FREE agents. As in “free to choose where I play.”
  2. Due to the lack of a new CBA, only players with 6 or more credited years will be free agents. This means taht Free Agent players will be in less supply and older than in prior years.
  3. In reality, good young players rarely hit the free agent market unless they WANT to switch teams, usually to get on a playoff squad, or for a big payday, or both.
  4. The Lions are extreme long-shots to make the playoffs, so don’t look for many guys to come here to finish out their careers. Ala Vilma a couple of years back, they will be looking to find a squad that can possibly get them a ring, even if the money is less.
  5. We all want “moderately priced” free agents that can fill gaps.
  6. Reality: There aren’t a whole lot of them, and there is a reason they are both free agents and moderately priced.
  7. Short supply means increased prices.
  8. The Lions have been losing money the last couple of years according to Forbes due to the Millen disaster (empty seats, lost concessions, merchandise sales, bad contracts, etc.)
  9. This means the Lions aren’t exactly flush with cash, and with the #2 overall pick coming up things won’t be getting much better real soon.
  10. In other words, look for more of the same: little to moderate named guys for one or two year deals to fill holes until their replacements can be drafted and developed, or another stop gap signed.

I’m usually a great big Honolulu blue ray of light, but the over-exuberance to overpay over the hill big names (dollar ninjas or broken Buzz Lightyear’s), the odds of signing them all, the “why don’t they just sign a new starting [enter position of need here]” when there AREN’T ANY who are FA gets to me now and then. Washington has tried that since Dan Snyder took over and where are they right now? Hiring their 11th coach in almost as many years. Stuck with Albert Haynesworth’s guaranteed money.

(As an aside, the league darn well BETTER fine Snyder at least as much as they did Ford for breaking the “Rooney Rule” in spirit, if not in fact. He wanted Shanahan and got him — which is fine. But just like withMooch, if he didn’t interview any minority candidates whether it is fair or not he needs to be fined just as heavily. Period. I’m not holding my breath on it because it seems a triple standard is always applied to the Lions in these type of situations.)

So while I am looking for the Lions to once again be prolific with trades and activity this free agency period, I expect it to once again be centered on stop-gaps and young guys looking for a chance to prove if they do or do not have what it takes to play in the NFL. Unfortunately, plenty of players last season proved they did not, and will be replaced with someone else looking for a shot. It sure isn’t any fun for the multitude of players whose NFL days are over, but it is a cold business fact and the Lions won’t let sentimentality get in the way of continuing to build a winning team.

Rating: 9.2/10 (5 votes cast)
Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
  • NewsVine
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis

Tags: , , , ,

10 Responses to “Roster Makeover, Part Deuce: FA Facts”

  1. By Lopper on Jan 7, 2010

    I just read on that the Browns are only offering Cribbs 1.4 million per season, so he is requesting a trade. He seems like an explosive player that could take some heat off Calvin by turning short passes into big plays. It would be nice to see the Lions at least look into getting him from the Browns. Who knows, maybe they could even get Shaun Rogers over here too and make it a blockbuster.

    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  2. By Clusterfox on Jan 7, 2010

    The only part of the mocks that I really look at right now are the depth of players available at particular positions. So we could try to focus our FA aquistions in area that we would possibly have to reach for. IE Spiller will not be available in round 2 so if we wanted a true upgrade at RB it would have to happen with the first pick. So from that stand point I’d rather see some sort of depth/help (not upgrade) at RB via FA. There will be some decent RBs out there, hopefully we could find one to help us through the first half of the season.
    Everyone has beat the DT horse to death so I’d like to hear something new, one question I’d like to throw out to see if anyone knows or wants to speculate. What are your thoughts on Eric Berry, Could he be drafted to play CB and fall back on Safety if it doesn’t work out. IMO he is the dark horse @ the top of this draft.
    The only reason why I skip the FA talk for a moment to mention this guy is that IMO CB cannot and will not be answered in FA. Look at the track record all the way back to Bodden, many have come and gone some with hype many without but the fact remains really good ones are like WRs they demand BIG $ in FA, and we shouldn’t chase. So to wrap it up the question stands Could E.Berry possibly play CB, and if so wouldn’t that be a safe pick @ 2 with the fall back to safety.(I well valued position with trade value later)


    Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  3. By jreffy on Jan 7, 2010

    DF, I’ll take it one step further. The Washington Redskins violated the “Rooney Rule” much worse than the Lions did. While Millen wanted to hire Mooch from the get-go, at least he extended interview inviations to minority candidates but was turned down (because everyone knew Millen wanted Mooch).

    With Snyder, I didn’t even hear of him inviting or talking to anyone other than Shanahan.

    It’s a stupid rule, one that doesn’t help minority coaches (seriously, who wants to be the “token minority coach”, that teams interview not based on their merit, but their race), and doesn’t help teams.

    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  4. By MGLion on Jan 7, 2010

    The NFL should fine the Redskins and Snyder at least twice what the Lions and Millen were fined. The reasons are as jreffy has outlined.

    Will it happen? I’m not holding my breath.

    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  5. By nocoach on Jan 7, 2010

    The Redskins interviewed Jerry Gray before they fired Zorn. Somehow that works.

    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  6. By Ben on Jan 8, 2010

    Havent really looked at it but what about the Lions trading back a few spots and taking Joe Haden? He looks like he could be a great corner and maybe pick up some picks for someone that Loves Suh or a QB still on the board.

    Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  7. By Rob Stoker on Jan 8, 2010

    Talk of drafting a RB in the first round always make me nervous. RB are always crucially dependent on the performance of the Line infront of them. I accept that Smith seems to lack the elite speed to really punish teams when he gets to the second level. The point is that getting to the 2nd level is mostly the job of the O-Line, and the ability to dominante the 2nd level is elite speed. There are plenty of backs who fall in the draft but still have elite speed. A LT or LG would be a much more valuable pick-up particular if you can develop Brown as your home run threat, wear them down with Smith/Morris/Felton, break it with Brown.

    They should pick the best available player at these positions in the 1st round: DT/DE/OT

    and from then on the best available player at any of these positions DT/DE/OT/OG/WR/RB/CB/SS

    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  8. By Lopper on Jan 8, 2010

    I disagree that the Lions should only focus on DT/DE/OT with the second pick overall. I think with that high a pick, the Lions need to get an elite player. I think that as long as it is not a QB or TE or possibly a WR because we already have a top end #1 WR, the Lions need to pick the guy that is highest on their board as far as talent and character. I think with later picks you can target specific positions, but when you’re going to be paying a guy over $30 million guaranteed, he needs to be as elite and can’t miss a guy as possible.

    Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  9. By Rob Stoker on Jan 9, 2010

    I agree that it has to be a can’t miss kind of player, but at 30 million guarenteed, they also have to be able to dominant a game.

    Which really you can only do defensively from the Line, CBs and Safeties can shut done sections of the field but never can one player cover all the sections. LBs are the same.

    Only a DE or DT can influence every snap of the game (this is way these boys get the big bucks).

    Likewise a great OT is the main means of countering a great DE.

    You can’t go OG or C at number 2 overall because of the finances. We have a TE a WR a QB. And as I said a RB is as good as his line.

    Therefore I think the money means you have to go OT/DE/DT/QB/WR/CB, we have two of those and CB has to be really really elite (Berry looks a heck of a player a safety but to believe he would be an elite CB is a serious stretch) I don’t think there is an elite CB in this draft, so it becomes DT/OT/DE (so Suh, McCoy, Okung or Morgan…)

    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  10. By chiefger139 on Jan 9, 2010

    snyder interviewed one of his current coaches a miniority for the job when the season was still going and caught heat for it, dont know if its the jerry gray no caoch mentioned, stupid rule anyhow, would be better off saying there staff needs so many miniorites, the ones who if any are truely predijudice anyhow and will suffer because of it because will miss out on many coaches and staff-like dungy, lovey smith, dennis green many others who have proved they can do it and face it, there the majority in this league not the miniority player wise and if a owner is that predjudice and dont look at them hes a darn fool to say the least!! mayhew also lost 12 games in the 0-16 season add them to your total-mayhew did good those complaining dont get it-hes playin the young guys-is tough when needs to be and yet his players seem to respect him. thought millen was a jerk the way he handled throwin players into the street mayhew has more class and is more quiet and less ill tempered so it seems. cant say hes the top you would want but probaly at least in the top 2/3 of the gms already .Wining and selling out games will move him up-hopefully he stands firm on playin the youngins and givin them a chance-if he does I will support him again for another bad season if they look like there finding some guys worth it to me.Want the long hard way of building a team rather than the quick fix-I dont beieve this team can do the quick fix anyhow, when we can say all we need is this position etc. and were in the hunt ok-but feel were not even close-but much closer to that position than we were a year ago, mayhew deserves much credit for that-signed the old wise chief!!

    Rating: 2.0/5 (1 vote cast)

No comments: