At one point, discussions about "the Detroit Lions' offseason" had nothing to do with the latest Lion to get arrested in a traffic stop.
They were about things like free agency, the draft and the salary cap. Those were the days.
Despite some more recent trouble with the law, I'm going to try to ease that fatigue and talk about the offseason in terms other than arrests.
Are offseason grades prior to training camp a bit premature? Of course they are. In the same way draft grades five seconds after the pick are.
But incidentally, the Lions have actually had a very good offseason in terms of personnel moves and positioning for 2012, and that's a lot more fun to talk about than the layout of your "Lions DUI Bingo" card.
Of course, when I say "talking about the offseason," I have a relatively limited scope of what that means...Why? Because I've already written draft grades, and I've already projected key members of the UDFA class—twice, in a way. Why would I do those again?
Instead, I'll cover key signings and re-signings, as well as some organizational moves (that don't involve post-arrest press releases) from this offseason.
You'll notice that some moves get their own slide, while some get lumped in together.
That's because the Lions have signed a number of players who are absolute question marks. It's difficult to analyze and grade a third-year player who rarely saw the field with his former team. And quite frankly, I simply don't have as much to say about James Bryant as I do Cliff Avril.
But grading each move is grading each move. No cop-outs (other than the draft one).
Ready then? Let's do this.