Everson Griffen is a player the Detroit Lions need to consider bringing back in 2021.
The Detroit Lions finished 2020 with a league-worst defense. It’s the same defense that finished 2019 with the 31st ranked defense allowing 400 yards of offense per game. In 2020, the organization yielded 420 yards per game.
I thought former head coach Matt Patricia was supposed to be a defensive guru? The proof is in the pudding; I became a bit skeptical when the New England Patriot defense suddenly got better when Patricia left. Last season the Patriot defense was the best in football.
At this point, it is difficult to predict who the Detroit Lions may re-sign or target in free agency or the draft because we don’t know who will be hired to be the next general manager and head coach. It will be more straightforward after the next regime is in place.
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That being said, veteran pass-rusher Everson Griffen is someone the next regime needs to consider retaining (at the right price).
The Detroit Lions ranked 26th with just 1.5 sacks per game; Minnesota, Las Vegas, Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati are the only teams who ranked worse. The Steelers led the way with 3.5, followed closely by the Rames with 3.3 sacks per game.
Romeo Okwara led the Lions with 10 sacks, followed by Griffen, who recorded 3.5 with Detroit and six overall. Trey Flowers notched just two sacks in seven games before being shut down with a fractured forearm that forced him to miss the teams’ final nine games. Lions rookie Julian Okwara was limited to just six games and failed to record a sack. Da’Shawn Hand played in ten games, and Austin Bryant played in six games; both failed to record a single sack.
The Lions will need to generate some pressure next year, and although investing in a 33-year old defensive end won’t move the needle much, it’s something that needs to be considered. Griffen proved he can still be effective in a rotational role.
According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Griffen earned an overall mark of 63.2, which won’t stand out, but his 73.6 pass-rush grade should. Griffen won’t be seeking huge money at this point in his career, and if he’d settle for around $4 million next year, he’d help stabilize the Lions defensive front until these younger players find a way to emerge.
The Lions will prioritize re-signing Romeo Okwara, but if they fail to reach an agreement with their budding-star, that makes retaining Griffen more of a priority.