Free agency 2019 happened. Let’s talk about it
The Lions were very active in free agency with Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia upgrading the talent. Lions signed stud pass rusher Trey Flowers to a five year 90 million dollar deal to bolster their pass rush in a big way. Flowers was the best pass rusher on the market with consistent pressure and good run defense. He graded as well as Khalil Mack in 2018.
The Lions let Ziggy Ansah walk due to his shoulder injury so Flowers will be a more reliable and better option. Flowers has the obvious Patriot connection to Matt Patricia’s/Patriots system from 2015-2017.
DE Romeo Okwara was a restricted free agent but got a two year deal through 2020. He is a solid player that can hold the edge and had 7.5 sacks in 2018.
Lions tried to get RB Malcolm Brown but the Rams matched the offer. Zach Zenner was re-signed and CJ Anderson got a one year deal to bolster the Lions running back group behind Kerryon Johnson.
Detroit took care of their nickel back by signing Justin Coleman to a 4 year 36 million dollar deal. This is big money for a nickel but Coleman has exceled there for Seattle the last two years. Coleman played with the Patriots previously under Matt Patricia.
Detroit needed big help at tight end and got it by adding Jesse James. James is a borderline TE 1 but the Lions will probably add another tight end in the draft. Logan Thomas was added on a one year deal too as a blocking tight end. James got a 4 year 22.6 million dollar deal.
Danny Amendola is the new Lions slot WR. Guess what, he is another former Patriot and played with the Dolphins last year. Amendola if healthy can be a solid player and gets good separation. He is not Tate but he can produce for the Lions in 2019 on a one year 4.5 dollar deal.
The Lions cut Glover Quin, Nevin Lawson and TJ Lang to create cap some room. Lang has since retired due to many injuries. Detroit signed guard Oday Aboushi to a one year 1.25 million dollar deal to add to their guard depth but should add another guard in the draft.
Rashaan Melvin takes over the CB2 spot for the Nevin Lawson on a one year 4.5 million dollar deal Melvin is a veteran who succeeded with the Colts but struggled in the wrong scheme with the Raiders.
Andrew Adams (safety), Don Mulhbach (LS), Tommie Lee Lewis (WR), Tre Williams (LB), Steve Longa (LB), Marcus Cooper (CB), Andrew Donnal (T) and Charles Washington (S) were depth and special teams signings.
Detroit was busy and really improved their team before the draft.
Detroit has picks 8, 43, 88 (from Eagles for Tate), 111, 146, 184, 204, 224 and 229 in the draft. All Rounds 1-5 and two 6th with two 7ths to add more talent.
Lions are ready to roar folks. Bold predictions will be happening.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have a new man in charge in Brian Gutekunst and he was super active in free agency. Green Bay let Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews walk to Dallas and LA Rams. Nick Perry was cut for cap room. Green Bay went on a spending spree.
The Packers needed pass rush and they got it by adding Za’Darius Smith (4 years 66 million) and Preston Smith (4 years 52 million). Adding these two along with Mike Daniels, super stud Kenny Clark and Kyle Fackrell will give Green Bay the fire power they need to get after the quarterback.
The Packers had a hole at right guard and signed Billy Turner (Denver) to a 4 year 28 million dollar deal. Green Bay should have solid starting guards for years now. The Packers inked former Bear Adrian Amos to play free safety at 4 years 36 million. Amos joins a young Packers secondary to help play deep safety. Amos was a solid player for the Bears but didn’t quite have the PFF grade of Ha Ha Clinton Dix (now a Bear).
Geronimo Allison (WR) and Mercedes Lewis (TE) were resigned to one year deals.
Green Bay has two 1sts (pick 12 and pick 30), 2nd, 3rd, two 4ths, 5th, two 6ths and a 7th round pick. The fleecing of the Saints worked out well for them very soon.
It’s weird seeing Green Bay spend money but they needed new defensive and guard talent.
The Bears are the defending North champs and tried to hold steady. They lost Amos and Bryce Callahan (nickel back) along with DC Vic Fangio but should have a strong defense. Chicago added former Packers super stud and PFF hero Ha Ha Clinton Dix for only 1 year 3 million dollars. Dix should help fill the Amos void.
Chicago added RB Mike Davis (2 year 6 million) then traded work horse RB Jordan Howard for a 2020 6th round pick. Risky move but could work with Howard on the last year of his deal.
Former Jet and Brown, Buster Skrine 3 years 16.6 million replaces Callahan at nickel back. Former Viking/Raider/Patriot Cordarelle Patterson got a 2 year 10 million dollar deal to be a WR/RB/KR for the Bears.
The Bears moved money around to make these moves. Khalil Mack and Eddie Goldman restructured their contracts to add 12.5 million in cap space. Could be some future cap hell.
Bears kept their right tackle giving Bobbie Massie a 4 year 30.8 million dollar deal. Kyle Long has a 2 year 12.2 million dollar restructured contract too under the radar. The Bears offensive line should stay consistent.
Aaron Lynch (OLB), Ted Larsen (guard), Ben Braunecker (TE) and Zach Miller (TE) were resigned for depth. Miller has that gruesome injury and hopefully is recovered. Big boost to Chicago if Miller is healthy.
Chicago only has a 3rd round, 4th round, 5th round and two 7th round picks. Draft won’t be much help unless the hit well in Round 3 and 4.
The Bears are looking to take that next step and win now. They cut Cody Parkey (audible dong) but signed a kicker named Chris Blewitt. That should end well.
The Vikings didn’t do much due to cap limitations. They cut Mike Remmers and Andrew Sendejo and Sheldon Richardson and Nick Easton walked in free agency on new bigger deals. Anthony Harris is the new strong safety on a one year 3 million dollar tender.
Anthony Barr spurned the Jets at the last minute and re-signed with the Vikings at 5 years 67.5 million. The Vikings kept their core on defense for sure. Everson Griffen restructured his contract to create a little cap room.
The Vikings got Shepmar Stephen back at 3 years 12.45 million. He spent one year with Seattle but played for the Vikings many years. Dan Bailey and Ameer Abdullah were also re-signed for Minnesota. Latavius Murray (RB) left in free agency so Abdullah (former Lion stud pre-injury) could get more touches in 2019 behind Dalvin Cook.
Former Patriot and Titans guard Josh Kline replaces Mike Remmers on a 3 year 15.5 million dollar deal. Brett Jones (center/guard) signed a one year deal for interior offensive line depth for Minnesota as well to replace Nick Easton.
Vikings have a Round 1 (pick 18), Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, two Round 6s and a Round 7 pick.
Minnesota still thinks their embarrassment of riches from 2018 is good enough to win.
It was an interesting free agency period. Most holes are covered but the draft should fill the rest for the North teams. Going to be a fun season. The schedule comes out in a few weeks then the draft is April 25-27 in Dallas Texas.