For the first time in a long time, we Lions fans can be proud of the way the Detroit Lions are conducting themselves. They are showing a serious commitment to getting better for the first time in many years.
We woke up this morning, just hours into the free agent shopping season, and the Lions were already an improved football team.
That is impressive.
The focus they showed and the aggressive manner in which they acted is just as important as the players that they signed. The Detroit Lions snatched the NFL headlines for something other than losing today.
They acted first and they acted fast.
That kind of aggressiveness in the organization hopefully transfers over to the football field. It sends a message to the league that this franchise is looking to turn things around. Now.
Coach Schwartz went to Tennessee and was at the door of new Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch at the strike of midnight. By this morning, a deal was done. That shows us that this organization is serious about improving.
We should appreciate that. These guys want to put a better team out there!
Vanden Bosch, a three-time Pro Bowler, is an accomplished player in this league. The defensive front instantly gets better with this acquisition. He has the motor and mean streak that we need in the trenches.
Now if we nab Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy to play next to him, then, to quote George Blaha, "Don’t look now, but suddenly we have a serious D-line."
That is the foundation for a good defense. And a good defense is the foundation of a good football team.
The other signing doesn’t look like a great deal at first glance, though.
I first saw via twitter that the Lions signed receiver Nate Burleson to a five-year, $25 million dollar deal.
My first thought was: Huh? Nate Burleson? How much money?
When I looked at the class of free agent receivers this year, however, I understand now what the move was about. Although we probably did pay a little too much for Nate’s services, it's ok. We went out and got the guy we wanted.
This year, he is at the very top of the free agent class of receivers available, especially for the role that we need filled in Detroit.
The Lions went out and got the most attractive guy on the market for their football team...Right away! We have to appreciate that, Lions fans.
Burleson is only 28-years-old, young enough to be part of a rebuilding process. The contract, of which $11 million is guaranteed, is front loaded, so he won’t become a big salary cap burden in a few seasons.
If he can match his numbers from last season (63 receptions for 812 yards), it will be a serious upgrade from what Detroit had last year. If he remains healthy, Nate has potential to do more.
We rolled the dice, betting that the change of scenery, a new opportunity, reuniting with his old offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, and receiving a big fat check will bring the best out in Burleson.
I think it’s a solid gamble that won’t come back to hurt you down the line. If nothing else, he is an eight-year veteran who knows how to approach the game as a professional. We can still look to add depth at receiver in the remainder of the offseason.
No, he is no Brandon Marshall, but we have our All-World guy already. We had a hole at the No. 2 receiver, and Martin Mayhew and staff went out and filled it up well. On Day One of free agency.
We needed someone to pressure the quarterback, and Coach Schwartz was drinking wine with Kyle V at a quarter after midnight. We should applaud their effort and work ethic.
These guys are doing their part to turn this thing around.
Let’s all drink to that!