Backus’ Retirement Erases Yesterday’s Gains
By: Eric Thomas
A few people on Twitter throw their hands in the air at the retirement of Jeff Backus. Not so soon. The Lions are in trouble. With two steps forward yesterday, they took two steps back today. They needed Backus next year. Riley Reiff might be relegated to guard, which means he was a bust in the first round; they don’t have an OT on either end of the line with the departure of Cherilus.
The offensive line is all about the tackles. Good guards and an experienced center are luxuries, the OTs have to be good. The current cupboard is bare for the Lions, their offensive line is absent with the departure of Backus.
This limits the draft options. The Lions might have to get an LT at number five in the draft and cross their fingers that Stafford will restructure for free agent help. Backus was a decisive issue, often showered with boos for false starts and sacks allowed. You’re going to miss him now that he’s gone. The Lions needed defense at number five, and a DE in that position looked perfect. That’s now totally up in the air.
Is this a disaster, no. There will be some cap room and if Stafford restructures there will be a lot. They might make do with a free agent, but it’s hard to know if an O Lineman will fit your scheme. The bottom line is the steps forward yesterday were erased today. They made have sealed or at least improved two areas of need yesterday but now a new need emerges less than twenty four hours later.