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Ranking Bob Quinn's Top Free-Agent Signings

Read more on Bob Quinn's top six free-agent signings during his time as Lions general manager

Bob Quinn's tenure as Lions general manager, which began in 2016 and ended Nov. 28 when he was fired along with former Detroit head coach Matt Patricia, was marked by a myriad of misfires in free agency.

It made it quite difficult to put together a list of Quinn's top six free-agent signings. 

Yet, the deed was done. 

Without further ado, here is my ranking of his six best free-agent acquisitions during his time with the Lions. 

6.) DE Trey Flowers: Five years, $90 million (signed in 2019) 

Quinn spent a lot of money on the former Patriots defensive end an offseason ago, and Flowers did his part to live up to the bill during his first year in the Motor City.

In 2019, he tied for a team-high seven sacks with former Lions linebacker Devon Kennard.

The two of them were about the only source of pass-rush help for a Detroit team that recorded the 30th-worst amount of sacks per game (1.8).

Flowers has been unable to stay healthy in year No. 2 in Motown, however, and hasn't been as productive when he has played.

The 27-year-old has logged just two sacks in seven games. 

On top of all that, he hasn't suited up for a contest since Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts, and hasn't produced a sack since Week 6 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

For all the money he's being paid this year (north of $11 million), he clearly hasn't been good enough.

He makes it on this list, though, because of his first season in Honolulu Blue.

5.) OG T.J. Lang: Three years, $28.5 million (signed in 2017) 

The now-retired offensive lineman was the best free-agent signing of Quinn's second year in Motown.

The Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice High School and Eastern Michigan product played only two seasons in Detroit, including a total of just 19 games (suited up for just six contests in 2018). 

However, he was a Pro Bowler in 2017, and brought an immeasurable amount of veteran savvy to the offensive line. 

It lands him at No. 5 on this list of Quinn's six best free-agent acquisitions.

4.) WR Danny Amendola: One year, $4.5 million (inked in 2019) 

The veteran slot receiver proved to be a valuable asset a year ago. 

The 35-year-old, who spent time with both Quinn and Patricia in New England, caught 62 balls for a near career-high 678 yards.

With his contract having been just a one-year, $4.5 million commitment, it was well worth it for Quinn & Co. and then some.

Fast-forward to this year -- a season in which he's playing on a one-year, $5 million deal -- and he's hauled in 37 balls for 539 yards in 11 games, good for a career-best yards-per-reception average of 14.6. 

All in all, signing the 12th-year pro has turned out to be a smart investment.

Amendola makes a catch in front of Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. 

Amendola makes a catch in front of Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. 

3.) LB Devon Kennard: Three years, $18.75 million (inked in 2018) 

Kennard was the Lions' most consistently productive pass-rusher in 2018 and 2019. 

He recorded 14 combined sacks over the two campaigns (seven each season). He also logged nine tackles for loss each season and 29 total QB hits. 

So, Quinn definitely got his money's worth with Kennard.

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Yet, he released Kennard this past offseason, seemingly to make room for veteran linebacker Jamie Collins.

It was a questionable move at the time. But, in Quinn's defense, it's worked out so far, with Kennard having amassed just two sacks and 13 total tackles in 10 games for the Arizona Cardinals.

Meanwhile, Collins has accounted for a lone sack and in stark contrast to Kennard, 97 combined tackles through 13 games. 

So far, it looks like Quinn made the right decision not only to sign Kennard away from the N.Y. Giants, but also to move on from the now-29-year-old linebacker when he did.

2.) DE Romeo Okwara: Claimed off waivers in 2018 (Current contract: Two years, $6.8 million; signed in 2019)

Quinn's tenure in Detroit was filled with so many misfires in free agency that it was hard to find six players to include on this list. 

It's why Okwara, a waiver-wire pickup of the Lions in 2018 from the Giants, receives inclusion.

He was easily Quinn's best waiver-wire acquisition, as he immediately came in and made an impact in the team's pass-rushing department.

He finished the '18 campaign with a team-leading 7.5 sacks, which earned him a two-year, $6.8 million contract extension. 

He didn't perform as strongly a year ago -- he amassed just 1.5 sacks in 14 games. 

However, he's bounced back hugely in 2020.

In 13 games, he's produced a team-high seven sacks, to go along with a team-best eight tackles for loss and 15 QB hits.

The 25-year-old has gotten it done in every facet imaginable as an EDGE rusher this season, and has clearly outperformed his contract.

And Quinn deserves a lot of credit for having found a roster spot for this "diamond in the rough" back during Patricia's first year as head man.

1.) WR Marvin Jones Jr.: Five years, $40 million (signed in 2016) 

By far the best signing of the Quinn era, Jones has been been a great No. 2 wideout since joining the Lions, and he's been a solid No. 1 at times, as well -- i.e. in the absence of Kenny Golladay this season. 

In each of his first two years in Detroit, he amassed more than 900 receiving yards -- 930 in '16 and a career-high 1,101 in 2017. He also caught nine touchdowns in '17. 

While his numbers haven't been as prolific since, he still recorded nine TD catches, and managed to produce 779 reception yards in just 13 games a season ago. 

On top of his production on the field, from all accounts, he's been a model citizen inside the locker room since his first day in a Lions uniform. 

It cements his status as the best free-agent acquisition of Quinn's time in the Motor City.

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