First off, for those of you following long term here, you will be happy to know that my mother-in-law’s house sold. While it will be a lot of work for us to get everything packed away in the next few weeks, it is one more step as we try to move forward. This, along with a busy work schedule, has led to a distinct lack of posting — you have my apologies.
Still, I couldn’t help but think that something was missing this year — then it struck me: Salary Cap and Coaching changes. Other than the relatively mild change at Special Teams coach this is the first season in almost 10+ years the Lions have not changed head coach, OC, DC or both. While this is a very positive development that will also help bring consistency and continuity to the team — it does lead to a little less excitement this time of year.
Also missing are the endless Salary Cap discussions — who are likely salary cuts, who can and can’t be cut or traded away/traded for due to their relative cap hits. While it does simplify life a little bit, it does lead to a few things missing after all this time.
Finally, though, it really hit me when I was reading this Don Banks article on the changes to Free Agency this season with the uncapped year. Whilethe players aren’t really happy about the changes, neither are teams looking for free agency help! Both teams and players are bracing for a lockout, but there will unfortunately be plenty of time to write about that next year, I fear.
What concerns me is that as I kept scanning rosters and articles for potential free agents the Lions could consider to fill some of their needs, I keep coming up with the same result: Nothing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just that most players worth signing as a long term fix (Amano, who re-upped for 5 years with the Titans) are being locked up by their current teams. Restricted free-agents will take draft-picks to sign — and how many of those are you willing to give up?
This leaves a thin pool of older players that were not re-signed by their current clubs (usually for a very good reason) and a host of dollar ninjas and short-term hole pluggers (assuming they have enough left in the tank). Personally, the combination of all the different points missing — salary cap and meaningful free agents, especially — is making this ifseason feel more like it is occurring in 1992 — Pre-Free Agency heading for labor strife — than 2010.
Nope. Free Agency just doesn’t feel very “free” this ifseason…