Lions GM Bob Quinn, New England’s former director of player personnel, got his first chance to a hire a head coach and went after a Belichick disciple. Patricia had been the Patriots’ defensive coordinator since 2012, winning two Super Bowls and appearing in three.
Reeling in a top-flight pass rusher is an expensive prospect. Calais Campbell only left Arizona after securing $15 million per year and $30 million in guarantees from the Jaguars. In 2018, players like Ziggy Ansah and Demarcus Lawrence will fill that role as well-compensated defensive ends (though they both could end up getting the franchise tag).
Lynch doesn’t necessarily need to pay a prohibitively expensive quarterback crusher yet. Buckner and Thomas were both reliable pass rushers in college who still have time to develop as they head into their third and second years in the NFL, respectively. Lynch would still be smart to chase some veteran talent who can add more punch up front, even if it means overspending on short-term deals. Players who fit that bill include Adrian Clayborn, Alex Okafor, Connor Barwin, or Lamarr Houston.
You can only do so much, Jones said. These are grown men. I have a lot of confidence that Zeke has learned a lot. Hopefully he has. Because if he has and he changes his behavior and he’s able to stay on the field, we all know he can be one of the greatest to ever play the game, if he takes care of himself and takes care of his business off the field. I think Zeke wants that. He’s a competitor. I think he wants to be one of the best. He certainly knows that he’s got to take care of business, too.
We’ve had great players that have had to do better before. Michael [Irvin] will tell you that he had to learn valuable lessons, but he turned out to be a Hall of Famer. I think if Zeke will pay attention and do the right things off the field and be responsible then he can certainly have an amazing career.
Speaking of power-play quarterback roles, the Rangers aren’t guaranteed to get back Kevin Shattenkirk soon and there is talk of shipping out Ryan McDonagh. Skjei surprised with 39 points last season but has been under-utilized this season with Shattenkirk and McDonagh around. If he is the last defenseman standing after the deadline next week, the power play will be all his — at least until Shattenkirk is healed.