The Detroit Lions signed Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang to a three-year contract addressing a major priority this off-season. General manager Bob Quinn said he wanted to pursue big name free agents and he landed the two best available offensive linemen.
Lang’s deal is worth $28.5 million along with $19 million guaranteed. Growing up outside the Detroit area and playing college football at Eastern Michigan, Lang was eager for the opportunity to play for his hometown franchise.
TJ Lang, a Michigan native, on returning to the Lions: I think it's every kid's dream."
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 12, 2017
The Lions let former starting guard Larry Warford find a new destination with the New Orleans Saints. Upgrading instantly with Lang came as a major surprise while he fielded other offers from his former team the Green Bay Packers, and the Seattle Seahawks who were nearly seconds away from winning the bidding war.
After playing with a young and inexperienced offensive line, Lang and newly acquired right tackle Ricky Wagner anchor a strong right side with Pro Bowl talent. At age 29, Lang is well in the prime of his career and should continue his top-notch play throughout his contract.
A big concern to the Lions’ lacking run game was the lack of push from the offensive line. With Lang paired next to Wagner, the right side will unquestionably be the line’s strength.
Lang is recovering from hip surgery in late January but should be ready to go by training camp. Detroit will need him in the lineup to build continuity as soon as possible. As a Super Bowl winner and the most experienced veteran of the offensive line, the Lions will depend on his leadership.
While the Lions improved with this acquisition, they kill two birds with one stone by stealing a major piece from the division rival Packers. Green Bay has lost six starters in free agency, now including one of Aaron Rodgers’ best blockers.
If you're scoring at home, #Packers have lost …
… as free agents.
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) March 14, 2017
Establishing a stout offensive line is always the biggest step to building an efficient offense. Lang has instantly become a vital plug to this franchise and could help the Lions make a postseason push this coming season.