Clayton: Lions among biggest winners in free agency

The Detroit News

Are the Lions better than they were before free agency opened last week? So far, yes.

That’s according to ESPN’s John Clayton, who on Tuesday named the Lions one of five teams that have helped themselves the most in free agency so far (pay site).

Clayton has the Lions ranked second, behind the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Two of the biggest reasons why, Clayton wrote, are on the Lions’ revamped offensive line in tackle Rick Wagner and guard T.J. Lang (Eastern Michigan).

“General manager Bob Quinn, who was hired last offseason, has turned a bad offensive line situation into one of the top units in the league — on paper — in signing Wagner ($20.5 million in guarantees) and Lang ($19 million in guarantees),” Clayton wrote. “Combined with emerging center Travis Swanson and left tackle Taylor Decker and left guard Graham Glasgow, both 2016 draft picks, Detroit’s offense has a chance to take a step up.”

Rogers: Lions bolster O-line, need playmakers on ‘D’

The Lions’ free-agent class also includes defensive tackle Akeem Spence — another player Clayton singled out — tight end Darren Fells, cornerback D.J. Hayden,defensive lineman Cornelius Washington, and linebacker Paul Worrilow.

Rounding out Clayton’s top five teams are the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Among the Niners’ biggest additions, Clayton wrote, was former Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer.