NFL free agency is well underway and teams around the league have begun signing players they think can improve their roster the most prior to the draft.
One team that has made a big splash is our Detroit Lions, who managed to improve the right side of their offensive line, all while spending less money than Riley Reiff and Larry Warford made elsewhere in free agency.
Not only is Lions GM Bob Quinn getting praise from Lions fans for his recent FA signings, but he is also getting some major praise around the country.
ESPN recently published a piece (pay site) titled, “Ranking most improved teams after first surge of NFL free agency.” In the article, they rank the top “most improved” teams in the NFL after the first wave of free agent signings.
Let’s see if the Detroit Lions made the cut.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Biggest additions: WR DeSean Jackson, DE Chris Baker, S J.J. Wilcox
With DeSean Jackson coming to town, the Bucs will now have the combo of him and Mike Evans to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. Baker and Wilcox should help improve Tampa Bay’s defense almost immediately.
San Francisco 49ers
Biggest additions: WR Pierre Garcon, LB Malcolm Smith, FB Kyle Juszczyk, QB Brian Hoyer, DT Earl Mitchell
The 49ers headed into the offseason with one of the worst rosters in the NFL but they have wasted little time making moves to improve it. Pierre Garcon will immediately become San Fran’s best receiver and he had better be after getting $17 million in guaranteed money.
Biggest additions: CB Logan Ryan, S Johnathan Cyprien, DT Sylvester Williams
Tennessee got Logan Ryan! This is a player I was really hoping the Lions could pick up to be the wing man of Darius Slay, but it was not mean to be. Ryan and Cyprien should do wonders for what was one of the worst passing defenses in football last season.
Biggest additions: OT Rick Wagner, G T.J. Lang, DT Akeem Spence
Here we go! The Detroit Lions come in at No. 2 on ESPN’s list after GM Bob Quinn was able to lure both Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang to replace Riley Reiff and Larry Warford, who left for other teams. The Lions offensive line has been a weakness for what seem like forever and if all goes as planned, it could now be a strength.
Biggest additions: DE Calais Campbell, CB A.J. Bouye, S Barry Church
Jacksonville comes in at No. 1 on ESPN’s list after dishing out $68 million in guarantees to Campbell, Bouye, and Church. The Jags first order of business was to solidify a defense that gave up a ton of points in 2016 and that is exactly what they did.