Lions won’t play tag


Through one day of the two-week franchise-tag period, no team has used it.  Several reportedly won’t.

Add the Lions to the list of teams not inclined to play tag.

We’re not going to franchise anybody,” G.M. Martin Mayhew recently said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

It’s not a shock, despite three potential candidates for the restriction.  It would take $12.4 million to use the tag for a second straight year on defensive end Cliff Avril.  Safety Louis Delmas, while very effective when healthy, could be this decade’s Bob Sanders.  And with a buyer’s market for tackles, it doesn’t make sense to plunk down $9.6 million for Gosder Cherilus.

The decision not to tag any of the looming free agents takes some steam out of the urgency to extend the contract of quarterback Matthew Stafford, whose cap number currently is parked at $20.8 million.  Last year, the Lions chopped receiver Calvin Johnson’s cap number from $21 million to less than $11 million at a time when more than $10 million in 2012 cap dollars was earmarked for Avril.

This year, Avril, Delmas, and Cherilus will all hit the market when the clock strikes 4:00 p.m. ET on March 12.  By the time the clock strikes midnight on March 13, the Lions could see one or more of them under contract with new teams.

15 responses to “Lions won’t play tag

  1. This is scary, I hope that their plans for Free agency and the draft pan out. By not locking down a position of need you are seriously rolling the dice.I guess you are all in for what may be your final season. My opinion that if you don’t re-do Stafford’s contact it is all for nothing.

  2. All three of them are replaceable. Delmas misses too many games and a good amount of the few games he actually does play. Avril was OK last year but not worth what he’s wanting. Cherilus??? It still amazes me we are even talking about how good this guy is. All three can be upgraded in the draft.

  3. They need to hang on to Delmas. When healthy he’s one of the most effective safeties in the NFC, if not the NFL. Their D needs as much help as it can get, especially in the secondary.

  4. There is no plan and how to deal with the valuable players that are candidates to leave. This team has no concept of long-term planning with respect to securing a foundation and core that can dominate for the future. This is a yearly recycling of inefficient players filling in for the occasional decent player that is lost, and we are in a never-ending cycle of banging our head against the wall and barely maintaining let alone not growing into the achievement of dominance.

    And this year the cycle will repeat again. I can’t name all of the exact people who will be new Lions this year, but I get the gist of what Mayhew is going to do and it’s going to be the same thing he always does and I’m expecting miserable results again this year. Unbelievable.

  5. Delmas? Pretty good player when he’s on the field. The problem is that he’s off the field too much. I can see the Lions possibly using the tag on him just to see if he can play a whole season.

    Cherilus? Replaceable.

    Avril? Thinks too much of himself. Does not play the run well enough to command the money he’s asking for. He’s worth $8-$9 million per year. if he gets more then he’s ripping off someone.

  6. Wow….haven’t seen so many asinine comments on one page in a long time!

    Hey Lions haters: why don’t you do us all a favor and stop reading (and commenting on) articles about the Lions?

  7. I’m a Michigander footballfather, so I am going to say this, the negative comments against the Lions are warranted because the organization is a joke! 1 playoff win since 1950???? If this team wasn’t supported by big brother (NFL), they would have been out of business back in the 70’s. EVERYONE should mock WCF for what he has done. Ford Motor only took off AFTER it was handed over to a non-Ford family member, it is time with the NFL team too.

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