Grading the Detroit Lions’ 2013 Free Agent Class
Grading The Detroit Lions' 2013 Free Agent Class
With the NFL free agency season slowly creeping upon us, it is time to think about how good the 2013 class performed for the Detroit Lions and to slowly look towards what the 2014 class might look like.
This class carried a lot of expectations, especially with former Heisman Trophy running back Reggie Bush being the big name of the class.
A trio of other big name players rounded out the major transactions of this free agent class. David Akers, Glover Quin and Jason Jones all came to Detroit as players who would fill immediate needs for the Lions.
Akers was assigned to be the replacement for the recently retired Jason Hanson, who kicked for the Lions for 20 seasons. Quin was signed to be a playmaking safety that could complement Louis Delmas and his hard-hitting style. Finally, Jones was expected to be the answer as the guy to replace Cliff Avril, who was one of Detroit's up and coming defensive players.
This list only takes a look at the players that were brought into Detroit, not the ones who subsequently moved out. No undrafted free agents are part of the list, only the unrestricted free agents of the 2013 class.
In 2014, the Lions' free agency class unofficially includes the coaching staff of Jim Caldwell, with Teryl Austin as defensive coordinator and Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator.
With the coaches set in place, Detroit can now look forward to adding players who will be part of their 2014 free agent class.
4. Jason Jones, Defensive End
Unfortunately, Jones was not able to produce like the Lions expected due to a ruptured patellar tendon in only the third week of the season that put him on the injured reserve.
3. David Akers, Kicker
Akers had his moments in his first season with Detroit, yet he could not duplicate the clutch kicking that Hanson was known for during his time in the Motor City.
Akers was only 19 for 24, with his five misses all coming in the 30-40 yard field goal range.
2. Glover Quin, Safety
Quin's season, much like his career, was solid, but nothing that flies off the charts. He was clearly a major upgrade over former safety Amari Spievey, who was cut in 2013.
1. Reggie Bush, Running Back
Bush's inaugural season started off great as he was one of the major reasons why the Lions were 6-3 in the middle of the season.
Sadly, he was also a major factor during the Lions' second-half collapse. The stats would suggest Bush was not the problem, but his fumbling propensity reared its ugly head late in the season.
Bush still had 1,500 total yards of offense despite the emergence of Joique Bell.
With the 2013 season wrapped up, I would give this free agent class an overall B grade. Had Jones not been hurt earlier in the season, this group could have approached the B+ to A- mark.