3 Free Agents Lions Should Avoid
As the Lions and general manager Bob Quinn approach free agency, there are plenty of decisions for the franchise to make.
There have been more than a few names from Lions fans thrown around as players that the Lions should target.
The big names are always tempting but can be overpriced.
Important to note, the projected price tag on these free agents could come down as time goes on, making the signings a little more reasonable.
Without further ado, here are three players the Lions should avoid in free agency:
CB Ronald Darby
Darby was widely considered the top free agent corner just last offseason.
Coming off an ACL tear in 2018, the talented corner decided to sign a one-year, $8.5 million prove-it type deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Unfortunately for Darby, his 2019 season was probably his worst to date.
He allowed six touchdowns, a 117.9 passer rating and the sixth-worst coverage grade for all qualifying cornerbacks in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
With the Lions now employing Darby's former secondary coach in Cory Undlin as their defensive coordinator, the Lions seem like a natural fit.
Even though this past season was forgettable for Darby, he will still likely receive a nice-sized contract from some team that believes he can find his pre-2019 form.
That's not to say he can't turn it around. However, even if he does, he still has struggled to stay healthy.
Last year, he missed five games due to hamstring and hip injuries, he suffered an aforementioned ACL injury in 2018 and he dislocated his ankle in 2017.
Due to his injury history, recent subpar on-field performance and the high price tag that will likely accompany signing him, the Lions should pass on acquiring Darby. They can't afford the risk.
RB Melvin Gordon
Gordon was a hot topic during his holdout at the beginning of the season.
With the Lions in desperate need of an upgrade for their run game, many national analysts felt the Lions were a perfect trade partner.
A trade never came to fruition, though, and now Gordon is set to hit the open market.
The Lions have the opportunity to go after Gordon without giving up any assets other than valuable cap space. But should they?
It's no secret that Gordon is looking for a very lucrative deal at a position where players typically decline quickly.
Not only that, as there is also a long history of successful running backs that are drafted in the mid-rounds of the draft and at a subsequent much cheaper price.
If Gordon was a transcendent talent, it would make sense for the Lions to go after him. However, he is not.
In Gordon's five-year NFL career, he only has one season with a four-plus yards per carry average.
Subsequently, you could maybe question the quality of blocking in front of Gordon.
However, his teammate Austin Ekeler outperformed him, and looked just fine running behind the Chargers' offensive line in 2019.
For comparison's sake, Detroit backs Kerryon Johnson, Ty Johnson and Bo Scarbrough all averaged more yards after contact than Gordon this past season.
If the Lions want someone that can create yards on their own behind a shoddy offensive line, Gordon doesn't appear to be that guy.
CB Chris Harris
There were reports that the Lions were one of the only teams to offer the Broncos a trade for Harris before this season's trade deadline.
Although that may have been the case, Harris is almost 31 years old, and father time may be catching up with him.
When that age-induced decline does happen, it can happen fast.
No doubt, at one time, Harris was one of the premier corners in the game.
That definitely wasn't the case in 2019, however.
This past season, Harris tied his lowest interception total (one), and allowed the second-most yards and his worst passer rating against in his career.
Pro Football Focus also gave him his lowest overall grade in the nine years he's been in the league.
You never want to pay a player for what he has done in the past. A new contract is given for what a player can do in the future.
Yes, the Lions could use the corner help, but they also shouldn't overpay for a player on the downside of his career.