Author: Conner Pyrc
With the NFL season rapidly approaching, teams are in a frenzy trying to get their roster just right. The Detroit Lions are no exception with a multitude of trades, signings and cuts happening in the past few weeks. The most notable moves in the last month have been the signing of WR Kenny Golladay and RB Matt Asiata, the release of FB Michael Burton and the acquisition of OT Greg Robinson.
WR Kenny Golladay was the Lion’s third-round draft pick, and the last of the nine draft picks to sign a contract. Golladay is expected to be the number three receiver behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, an essential addition considering veteran receiver Anquan Boldin is not expected to return to Detroit. After the Lions’ OTA sessions, where Golladay had standout performances, the Lions signed him to the standard four-year contract.
The Lions recently waived FB Michael Burton, who was regarded as one of the best blocking fullbacks in the NFL, to make room for RB Matt Asiata. Burton was a great player who got the job done when called upon, but saw his playing time diminish under OC Jim Bob Cooter. Now Asiata, who came over from Minnesota, will compete for a spot with Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington. Last season Asiata had 402 rushing yards on 121 attempts (3.3 avg.) and 263 receiving yards on 32 attempts (8.2 avg.). This year he could become a great complimentary receiving back to Riddick and a perfect fit to Cooter’s offense.
Finally, just last week the Lions traded a sixth-round draft pick to the LA Rams for OT Greg Robinson, the 2014 number two overall draft pick. The Lions desperately needed an offensive tackle after the shoulder injury to Taylor Decker, who will miss at least a quarter of the Lions’ season. While having the former number two pick seems wonderful, Robinson might not be the “knight in shining armor” Lions fans hoped for. Robinson has had a hard time adjusting to the NFL and never really panned out the way the Rams wanted him to. In the past two years he led all NFL players in penalties (24) and was fifth in penalty yardage (204). However, Robinson, Jim Caldwell and the entire Lions organization seem to have high hopes that he will be able to get the job done. Only time will tell.
The Lions have definitely been busy this off-season and have acquired a lot of tools to be a very successful team. But with a few positions still needing help it’s hard to know just exactly how good they will be. With all these strong moves the Lions might be able to break the NFL high nine-game playoff losing streak and finally bring some joy into the hearts of their fans who have suffered for years on end. Living through the constant jokes and smack talk from their co-workers for always saying, “This is the year!” Maybe this is the year Lions fans, but then again it is the Lions...so you just never know.
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