Just when my beloved Lions were crawling out of one of the worst stretches in the history of the NFL, the new collective bargaining agreement rears its ugly head. The Lions are in major salary cap hell, and so far Martin Mayhew is using band-aids, and not properly assessing and fixing the situation. http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_/id/39299/thoughts-on-lions-cap-restructures
Of course the League finally fixes the absurd NFL rookie salary structure, THE YEAR AFTER the Lions pick #2 in 2007, #1 in 2009 and #2 in 2010! Sure Calvin Johnson, Matt Staffiord and Ndamukong Suh are blue chip elite players, but its just like this cursed franchise to get those amazing players at a time when the NFL rookie salaries had become a laughing stock, and one of the main reasons you had the same crappy teams stay crappy in the 2000’s (Millen aside)
Now the cherry on top is the new collective bargaining agreement which will really hurt the lions. Mayhew is valiently trying to resign the best WR in the league in Calvin Johnson, yet the way the new rules were written for the franchise tag, the player gets the higher of 120% previous years salary or standard average of top 10 players salary at position. Oh and guess what, Calvin’s cap figure is around 18 million this year, and if the lions want to franchise him next year, he would be a cap crushing hit of 25 million! Oh course Calvin and his agent know this and basically the Lions have no leverage at all. Calvin can force free agency and play for 18 million this year.
If Calvin were to hit the open market next year, I can see some crazy team inking him to a 18-20million per year deal.. oh and by the way, thank you to all those Idiotic GMs like the Arizona Cardinals that sign their players to ludacris stupid deals, and drive the market ever higher for other teams, you are pathetic Rod Graves and the ridiculous Larry Fitzgerald deal, i knew the day he signed that the Lions were screwed!
Mayhew is not making the decisions that need to be made:
Nate Burelson needed to be majorly restructured, not taking this years salary as a bonus and kicking the can down the road! he needed to be totally resigned to make around 1.5 -2 million a year.
Corey Williams needs to be cut, his entire $5 million can be saved towards this years hell, and honestly I would like Sammie Hill and Nick Fairley get more playing time. Williams was good for this team, but he will be 32 when the season starts.
The way the Lions are approaching this offseason, its like they are all sacred cows, I am constantly reading articles by reporters that must not watch every snap, because this defense was for long stretches really bad. the lions had a few miraculous combacks in order to barely get the 6th seed, and go on to play the team NO other team (including Giants) would beat at home in New Orleans (thanks again ref in Green Bay who rules Titus Young TD out of bounds, and special shout out to the randome side ref who blew the whistle on a live fumble by drew brees which the Lions were running down the field for a TD that would have put them up by 14 points in New Orleans in the playoff game) I am so glad I waited 12 years in order to yell at the TV all night long with bad call after bad non call! COLLEGE REPLAY SYSTEM ANYONE… BUEHLER?….. BEUHLER??? what a joke…
The Lions defense finished ranked 23 out of 32, hardly a defense where some smart changes should not be made. I think Lawrence Jackson is better than Cliff Avril, and much better Vs. the Run, which is one of our major weaknesses, he should get a lot more playing time as should Willie Young. KVB’s leadership and hustle are great, but I hope that Gunther trots the young guys out more. Amari Spievey is much better as a number 3 safety, we really could use a good play maker that is in position when the run breaks loose of our aggressive Wide 9 4-3 strategy..
I think that paying Avril 10.6 million is a mistake, paying Corey Williams 6 million is a mistake, Paying Nate Burelson 5 million is a mistake. We can find a WR with more upside, Titus Young is very good and should be the #2 this year. solid WR’s with upside should be on this team, not Rashied Davis and Maurice Stoval.. Mayhew needs to make some hard decisions that will better prepare the team for the future. His plan as of now to push salary into the future is stupid, and will make his little stunts like restructuring the contracts today really harm the team just when the young players we have in place could legitametly contend for a Super Bowl.
Do the right thing Mayhew and Lewand!