Detroit Lions overpaid for backup quarterback Chase Daniel

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /

It was clear after last season’s debacle that the Detroit Lions needed a more dependable option to backup starting quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Signing a more reliable backup quarterback to sit behind quarterback Matthew Stafford became apparent halfway through the 2019 NFL season when a lingering back injury forced Detroit Lions starter, Stafford, out of action.

Stafford suffered another back injury, unlike in 2018, Stafford didn’t play through the injury.  In 2018 Stafford suffered numerous fractured bones in his back, yet the franchise quarterback trekked on playing game after game.

Looking back, the organization should not have allowed Stafford to play with that injury in ’18 because while playing supposedly didn’t increase the severity of the injury, it clearly prevented the damage from fully healing.

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The Lions entered the ’19 regular season with a new offensive philosophy under the direction of newly appointed offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.  With Bevell’s guidance, Stafford threw for 19 touchdowns with a pace that looked to near 5,000-yards passing.

When you look at the Detroit Lions as a whole, it’s obvious Detroit’s fate sits with the health of Stafford.

The Detroit Lions had a revolving door at the quarterback position during the 2019 season, and it was a position that clearly needed to be addressed in free agency.

We can all agree that the likes of Tom Savage, Josh Johnson, Jeff Driskel, and David Blough wouldn’t cut it as Detroit’s QB2 moving forward.  The issue I have though, is the fact that Lions general manager (GM) Bob Quinn rushed to sign a journeyman, lifetime backup Chase Daniel to solidify the position.

Daniel is definitely an upgrade over Driskel and Blough, but why wouldn’t Quinn entertain bringing in someone like Colin Kaepernick or someone like Jamies Winston to backup Stafford?  Surely a player like Cam Newton who recently signed with the New England Patriots for peanuts would be enticing, but in my mind, Newton wouldn’t be a fit in Detroit.  All along, I figured he’d land a starting job, and the Patriots are going to get a bargain paying him an incentive-driven deal totaling $7.5 million.

Winston signed a one-year deal to backup Drew Brees in New Orleans worth $1.1million.  Andy Dalton signed a one year deal with the Dallas Cowboys worth a mere $2.25 million.  Former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco signed a one-year $1.5 million contract with the Jets, yet the Detroit Lions rushed out to give Daniel a three year deal with $13 million.  Yikes.

Daniel is expected to jive well with Stafford in the quarterback room along with providing the Lions with a capable backup that can win a game here or there if needed.  I just find it foolish to pay a player like Daniel North of $4 million per season on a multi-year deal.

Daniel’s agent must be the best in the business.  Daniel has started five games throughout his ten-year career, yet at the conclusion of this Detroit contract, he will have eclipsed $40 million in career earnings.  Daniel has a career record of 2-3, tossing for 1430 yards and seven touchdowns.  He’s thrown five interceptions but has provided his teams’ with a stellar 68% career completion rate.

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Daniel is serviceable, but it’s a typical Lions move to rush out and overpay for a mediocre option, especially when there were plenty of better alternative options available.