By: Eric Thomas
The Lions have done some shedding this off-season, sending Steven Peterman packing along with Kyle Vanden Bosch. This led to something like a break in the clouds among Lions fans. Who knew Peterman was so reviled? Many in the media scratched their heads, as most didn’t draw a circle around the 31 year old guard from Gulfport, Mississippi. The Lions had problems, but Peterman didn’t seem among them.
Their running game was abysmal, but the line didn’t seem like the problem. There were running lanes that closed quickly by the time a back in question arrived at them. Some fans point out Peterman allowed too many pressures last year but they are citing a statistic that they only learned about after he was sent away.
Fans have already handed credit to Brian Xanders for the latest personnel moves. The second set of eyes apparently saw the litter through the trees according to some fans. They may be right, but these moves are only small potatoes. Fans who wipe their brow are living in a fantasy land. You can’t fix the salary cap with small moves. The Lions have more problems than that. They have three players that are getting the bulk.
Rumors point to the release of Dominic Raiola. He’s probably over the hill, always undersized and makes enough money to be a target. It makes sense, but only to a degree. These moves are a mere microscopic cut on the diamond in a myriad of problems for the team.
The Lions won four games last year, all while bumping their head the cap. They spent all the money and these are the results. During the previous off-season, they were over the salary cap. It would be fair to say that the money isn’t well allocated. The resources they have invested in haven’t yielded good results.
The bulk of the Lions’ resources are in three places: Stafford, Megatron and Suh. Of those three positions, the luxury lies at WR (he’s here forever) and DT. Fans who want to put Stafford on the road need their head examined. Stafford threw for 5,000 yards in the last two years. The team has its franchise quarterback. Let’s not forget that Charm City wanted to throw Flacco over the rail several times before he won the Super Bowl and San Diego booted Drew Brees because his development was taking too long. Fans who want to jettison Stafford seem to forget the agony of the 60 year search for a franchise quarterback. Calvin Johnson didn’t have a stellar season with Dan Orlovsky taking the snaps. Or Jon Kitna. Or Daunte Culpepper.
So we come back to Suh. Sending him away isn’t because they are full of righteous anger over stomps, stops and celebrity diving shows. It’s a business transaction. He’s a luxury that they can’t afford. They can’t re-sign him when his contract is up anyway, might want to start the post Suh era ASAP. Cutting him doesn’t help the cap. There must be a team among the 32 that is willing to pay a DT that kind of money, maybe one that can better afford the expense. Some say that you can’t replace Suh and that’s true, you can’t. You can, however, afford to upgrade the entire defense with the money saved.
Anything without addressing the big money players will be small drops in the ocean. If the Lions are serious, they will find a solution to the Suh problem. He will be a superstar player for a team somewhere and Lions fans will lament his loss. Sometimes, it’s a business decision, and more than defense, business decisions win championships.