Detroit Lions: Tyrell Crosby is not an NFL starting right tackle

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

After releasing starting right tackle Rick Wagner, the Detroit Lions need to address the entire right side of their offensive line.  Tyrell Crosby isn’t, nor should be the answer.

If Bob Quinn feels that Tyrell Crosby is the answer to the Detroit Lions vacancy at starting right tackle, he’s sadly mistaken. I’m not a fan of Crosby as a starter, sorry, but I don’t mind if he’s forced to come out of the bullpen when needed due to injuries, illness, etc.

There is nothing wrong with having a reliable backup. I understand we want the best option available, but a lot goes into that.  Teams only have so much money to spend; the best organizations understand there is only so much money to go around and find a way to allocate those funds appropriately.

Organizations can’t afford to pay back up players’ top dollar; teams need to find affordable backups, which, when called upon, can provide the team with stability while they are in the game.  To me, that’s Tyrell Crosby.

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Crosby earns a mere $731,920 this season and $821,923 in 2021 per In today’s NFL, that’s incredibly cheap for any player.  When you compare that salary to Ricky Wagner‘s $11.9 million cap hit, and realize the team received similar production, releasing Wagner became a no brainer.

Wagner produced an overall grade of 59.0, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) in 2019.  The Lions released Wagner costing the organization $5.8 million against the cap in ‘dead money.’  Wagner played a total of 753 snaps last season with the Detroit Lions.  He struggled in all aspects of the game last season (run blocking, pass blocking), Quinn saw a rapid decline in production and was proactive moving on rather than running him onto the field next season hoping he regains his form at an expensive price.

Tyrell Crosby didn’t fare well last season either but did produce a slightly better grade than Wagner.  Crosby produced an overall grade of 62.4, that includes a 64.7 run-blocking mark, over ten points better than Wagner’s.

When you consider Crosby’s salary and pair it with his on-field performance, he’s valuable on the Detroit Lions roster but as a starter?  I’m not sold.

Crosby produced those numbers while playing 397 total offensive snaps.  Who is to say Crosby’s numbers wouldn’t decline when he doubles his snaps if he were to be named the teams’ starter?  Don’t forget the Detroit Lions appear to be moving on from starting right guard Graham Glasgow.  That certainly won’t bode well for Crosby.

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Detroit will benefit from exploring the NFL Draft or free agency ( Joe Thuney, Jack Conklin, or Bryan Bulaga) to upgrade its offensive line, not patch it, hoping to bandaid it through the 2020 season. Especially with quarterback Matthew Stafford coming off of back to back seasons in which he was seriously injured.