DETROIT (CBS Detroit) — Around the Motor City, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn has gotten high marks for his offseason moves so far in 2017.
One of his biggest accomplishments so far is improving the offensive line by adding tackle Rick Wagner and hometown guard T.J. Lang to the right side of the line.
However, one writer on ESPN thinks one of those moves is a little overrated. Sam Monson, lead NFL analyst at Pro Football Focus, wrote (via ESPN Insider) about how the Lions could have done better than signing Wagner to a five-year, $47.5 million contract.
“Wagner was seen as the biggest prize in the free-agent tackle market, but Andrew Whitworth is an objectively better player. The 35-year-old left tackle’s market was more limited — he signed a three-year deal with the Rams with $15 million guaranteed.”
“[Wagner] had a bounce-back season in 2016, but his career has been more of a roller coaster and has lacked consistency, which made it risky for the Lions to give him a long-term deal.”
The Lions have consistently had one of the worst rushing offenses in the NFL for many years — pretty much since Barry Sanders retired — and ranked 29th in the league in rushing last season.
[graphiq id=”jGNaZE8VrrT” title=”Detroit Lions Rushing Yards over Time” width=”600″ height=”503″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/jGNaZE8VrrT” link=”http://nfl-teams.pointafter.com/l/21/Detroit-Lions” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]
Quinn’s moves show that he’s trying to build the team through the trenches, something the Lions have not traditionally done. Outside of the free agent signings on the offensive lines, the Lions could make an improvement to their running game by signing Adrian Peterson, a free agent they’ve been linked to this week.