NFL Analyst Blasts Lions Free Agency Approach

Bill Belichick Matt Patricia

Getty Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia shake hands.

The Detroit Lions have been aggressive in free agency, and some of their biggest expenditures have come on the defensive side of the ball with former members of the New England Patriots.

That’s not something the team should be proud of according to ESPN analyst Kevin Seifert. In a piece breaking down some of the winners and losers of the free agency period, the Lions were identified as a loser, particularly because of their reliance on Patriots players.

Here’s a look at what Seifert wrote as a critique on the Lions approach:

“Meanwhile, the Lions — led by two former Patriots staffers in general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia — guaranteed linebacker Jamie Collins $18 million, while also agreeing to terms with defensive tackle Danny Shelton and trading for defensive back Duron Harmon.

This isn’t so much a comment on the players themselves, but on the cockeyed and still unproven idea that there is some kind of magic sauce that comes with someone who has been in the Patriots’ program. Why can’t we just acknowledge that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has built a unique set of circumstances that routinely maximizes players in ways that aren’t likely to be replicated elsewhere? As a matter of team-building, giving an edge to people with a Patriots connection probably could cloud out more qualified candidates. Just stop it!”

In addition to the Lions, the Miami Dolphins were named as a loser for the same reason. Clearly, Matt Patricia is trying to institute his culture, and it will be interesting to see if this massive transplant ends up working for the team in 2020.

Ultimately, that will be how things are judged in the end, regardless of how many people scream and cry about the approach.

Lions Agreement With Halapoulivaati Vaitai Ripped

It’s not just deals with former Patriots getting ripped. Detroit will reportedly give Vaitai a 5 year, $50 million dollar contract, and that’s something which former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi was none too pleased with. After the agreement was leaked, Lombardi took to Twitter to criticize the move, wondering if the Lions had paid attention to how Vaitai had played in 2019.

It wasn’t simply Lombardi wondering about the move, though. Peter Bukowski pointed out some stats which prove the tough season Vaitai had on the field in terms of pass blocking and how poorly he graded out for his work on the field.

Even though Vaitai is not a former member of the Patriots, it’s not as if many have faith that the Lions did the right thing in pursuing him in free agency, either.

Lions Free Agency Signings

The Lions have reached reported free agency agreements with offensive lineman Halapoulivaati Vaitai, linebacker Jamie Collins, quarterback Chase Daniel and defensive lineman Nick Williams. Additionally, they’ve added Danny Shelton, Desmond Trufant and Jayron Kearse. Duron Harmon is coming in via trade. The group upgrades some important spots on the team, and will help the Lions boost the spots that are most needed for 2020. The Lions have managed to get things going quickly and effectively this offseason in free agency to be able to try and reshape their team.

Lions Free Agency Needs

The Lions still have to find a way to solve plenty of needs, even as they have managed to do a good job to check off some of their biggest problems thus far. The team needs help at defensive end, running back and perhaps guard, so obviously, there are still big moves to make in the coming weeks and days.

We’ll have to see how many of those players coming in the future have New England ties.

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