The Detroit Lions have finally signed their first round draft pick in the 2014 NFL draft, tight end Eric Ebron. They were able to do so after releasing former starting cornerback Chris Houston. The sad part is, both of sentences are loaded with miscues pertaining to general manager Martin Mayhew’s complete failure as their leader.
There are plenty of examples that you could draw up to make it look like Mayhew has done a good job. Ziggy Ansah, last year’s top pick, turned out great. He also found guard Larry Warford in the third round and he very well good have made the pro bowl last year. Those are just a few. Great, fine, but they are just masks on a clown. Mayhew really screwed this offseason up badly, and here’s how.
The real reason Houston was released is because Mayhew never was able to renegotiate Ndamukong Suh’s rookie contract and Suh is currently counting as over $22 million against the Lions salary cap. To make matters worse, the Lions rejected their fifth year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who they drafted one year after Suh making it by far the most expensive defensive tackle tandem in the NFL and a misuse of money that could have and should have been spent elsewhere. The “best player available” scenario does not work in the salary cap world. The Lions are paying the price for being at the bottom of the NFL before the new collective bargaining agreement changed the way rookie contracts are scheduled, but that is no excuse, the Lions earned that punishment.
Carrying on with this offseason, the Lions made no move to sign a cornerback, or draft one in the high rounds despite the fact that they were obviously aware that Houston’s foot injury might not heal in time for training camp or even if it would heal at all. Instead of making a play for cornerback Darqueze Dennard who would have fit the new defensive scheme perfectly, Mayhew instead chose to draft the “best player available” and selected Ebron. Oh, and did I mention, he signed Brandon Pettigrew to an extension in the offseason. Pettigrew, by the way, happens to be the last tight end drafted that highly in the NFL until, you guessed it, Ebron. The Lions obviously needed to shore up their offensive playmakers this year to help Matthew Stafford excel and they did so by signing free agent Golden Tate. Of course, if they hadn’t wasted picks on Titus Young and the already injured before he got here Ryan Broyles, they wouldn’t have been in this position.
Mayhew is a man operating with no discernible plan. The Lions are the laughing stock of the NFL and will continue to be so until major changes are made. The starting cornerbacks for your Detroit Lions fans are as follows: Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis. Congratulations, you may end up with a defense that’s even worse then last years mess. Think ahead though, at least you won’t have to watch Fairley show up only when he wants to because he’ll be gone next year, and at this point, Suh may be as well. I guess you can look forward to having two tight ends with unreliable hands sharing a position that shouldn’t be costing any team that much money though, that’s a positive thing, right?
Mayhew needs to go. This defense is a mess, there is obviously no long term plan, and keep in mind, they couldn’t resign Shaun Hill as their reliable backup because of the Suh contract mess too. Instead, you’re one bad play from watching that stepping out of the back of the end zone quarterback Dan Orlovsky throwing to the talent Mayhew has so aptly put together. Enjoy that. Just for icing on top of the cake, he didn’t land the coach he wanted, instead ending up with Jim Caldwell, who started 14-0 with the Colts, and afterwards dipped to 12-22 before being fired and was also the offensive coordinator for one the NFL’s worst offenses last year with the Baltimore Ravens.
So, can someone please explain to me why Martin Mayhew still has a job?