The Detroit Lions have taken a measured approach to free agency so far, and have sat on the sidelines for the most part minus signing their own free agents. The team went outside the family for the second time this offseason with a signing.
Detroit needed some help and a definite boost for their offense in terms of depth, and they looked to add it at the key posititons of tight end with a key depth signing. Reportedly joining the team is Garrett Griffin, formally of the New Orleans Saints.
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According to a report from Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Lions are signing Griffin, who spent the early part of his career with the Saints.
“Former Saints TE Garrett Griffin is signing with the Lions, per source. Griffin played for Dan Campbell when Campbell coached TEs for the Saints. Griffin is currently taking care of his yearly Air Force commitment in Colorado Springs,” Pelissero tweeted.
Griffin is more of a blocking tight end, and is known as a player who is tougher in the trenches rather than an elite route runner, but in order to play in the New Orleans system, Griffin would have to be well-rounded given the amount of passing the Saints to. To that end, he should be able to fit in well with the Lions. Dan Campbell will know him as well, so he will pass the character test very easily for the team.
All-told, Griffin is a very Lions signing for the team to make, and he will be a seamless fit for the roster and the offense.
Griffin’s Stats & Highlights
Coming into the league in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Air Force, Griffin hasn’t put up huge stats in his career. In college, he put up 678 yards and 8 scores. Coming too the pros, his production hasn’t been nearly as elite as that. Griffin has only 34 yards to his credit in the pros. His first touchdown did come in the playoffs in 2019 against Los Angeles. Here’s a look at the play:
Griffin will bring the Lions some toughness first, and he may be able to bring them some pass catching eventually as well. As signings go, this could prove to be an underrated one for this reason.
Lions Tight End Room Needed Upgrades This Offseason
It’s not a surprise to see the Lions targeting a tight end in the free agency process. The team needed to find some help behind T.J. Hockenson. The last few years, Hockenson has been good, but he has had injury problems come up that have slowed his progress in recent seasons and depth has been needed. Outside of a rush at the end of the year by undrafted free agent Brock Wright, the team didn’t have much of note at all at the position. Without Hockenson, the team’s production slumps at the posititons, and that is not what the Lions want to see.
Signing Griffin will allow the Lions a chance to boost the depth at tight end, and will also allow the team the freedom to give Hockenson a rest at times. While he is a workhorse, there has been some wear and tear on his body and having another option to go to would help the Lions in a big way.
That is what Griffin will be able to bring the Lions, so this figures to be an important signing no matter how under the radar it may seem.