They said Matt Patricia is liked by players, and they said that Detroit is one of the worst free agency destinations in the NFL, yet good coaches and really good players choose to join Patricia in Detroit.
After the 2018 season the Detroit Lions fired offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, JBC is now the running backs coach for the New York Jets. The move came to no shock but who replaced him did. Darrell Bevell the one time OC for the Seattle Seahawks when they made one of the biggest mistakes in Super Bowl history when they threw a pass on the goal line against former Patriots defensive coordinator and now Lions Head Coach Matt Patrica’s defense. The pass was intercepted and led to the Patriots winning the Super Bowl. Flash forward a few years and Bevell is now going to call the plays in Detroit under Patricia. He inherits a offense with a franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford, a young up and coming running back in Kerryon Johnson, and a rising star receiver in Kenny Golladay. Bevell will bring a veteran presence as a play caller and more of a balance based offense. The Lions also brought back former Special Teams Coordinator and recent Central Michigan Head Coach John Bonamego as their Special Teams Coordinator.
After the Lions filled the rest of their staff they moved on to free agency. The Lions started the resigning period on Febuary 13th when they brought back Long Snapper Don Muhlbach for his 15th season with them. They also resigned DE Romeo Okwara who had 7.5 sacks last season and running back Zach Zenner. Before the Lions could sign free agents they needed to clear some cap space. General Manager Bob Quinn had some tough decisions to make but he did what needed to be done. He released veteran Safety Glover Quin and former Pro Bowler Guard T.J. Lang. They also cut ties with WR Bruce Ellington, and CB Nevin Lawson.
When free agency was approaching Quinn didn’t waste any time, he went out and signed a veteran slot receiver who was cut from the Dolphins Danny Amendola. Amendola drew lots of interest but choose to play for Coach Patricia who he was familiar with from their days in New England. A big time signing before the start of free agency was just the beginning. When teams were allowed to talk to free agents the Lions started with a bang! They went out and signed Justin Coleman from the Seahawks and made him the highest paid nickel corner in the NFL with a 4 year 36 million dollar contract. Coleman was drawn to Detroit because he had played for Patricia in New England and because he played High School Football and is friends with Tracy Walker and star Darius Slay. After Coleman came one of the most sought after free agents named Trey Flowers. A 25 year old two time Super Bowl Champion who was a second team All Pro last season. Flowers signed his 5 year 90 million dollar contract with the Lions, mostly because of his former Coach and now current coach Matt Patricia. One of the Lions highest needs was a Tight End and that was filled by former Steeler Jesse James when he signed a 4 year 22 million dollar contact. The Lions also singed Guard Oday Aboushi and Safety Andrew Adams.
Sign a slot receiver check, sign a pass rusher check, sign a slot corner check, and sign a starting tight end check. The Lions still have over 20 million available to spend in free agency with the remaining cap space going toward draft picks. While their are still solid free agents left including former Lions Ziggy Ansah and Ndamukong Suh don’t expect the Lions to throw any more big contracts at players this offseason. The Lions got better much better via free agency and staff hires, but the 8th overall draft pick is a must hit for Bob Quinn and the Lions if they decide to keep it. The Lions could go a number of ways with that pick, it will for sure be interesting.