The Lions can’t sell warm weather, or a lack of state income tax, or a winning tradition.
But new General Manager Bob Quinn said he still thinks they can be an attractive free agent destination.
“It really hasn’t [been an issue],” Quinn said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “The players that we’ve had in for visits and we’ve signed, and even some of the guys that we haven’t signed, were really receptive. Had some really great conversations with players and representatives and agents about the opportunity that we present, as a franchise, with the ownership, the head coach, the hierarchy that we have, in terms of the structure of the organization. The position coaches. The coordinators.
In addition to having him run the Lions, the city of Detroit’s chamber of commerce should sign Quinn up now.
The Lions were able to get free agent wide receiver Marvin Jones, despite interest from the Patriots. Of course, they gave him a five-year, $40 million deal — though New England’s offer was supposedly similar.
They might have to overspend for players to get them, at least until they’re able to win. That’s what allowed New England to become a destination, specifically for veterans who want to win a championship. And until Quinn can create that kind of atmosphere in Detroit, he’s going to have to offer something else.
He cited staffing and improvements to the football facility as places they’re improving, trying to put pieces in place to make people consider the Lions differently.