The 2019 Detroit Lions finished with a regular season mark of 3-12-1, plagued by injuries and calls that didn’t go their way. Thank goodness for NFL Free Agency during this period of COVID-19 hot and heavy in the world at the moment. But as you have noticed over time, there seems to be a connection year in and year out between the Motor City Kitties and the New England Patriots – and with anticipation that these former players and/or personnel who have come out the Patriots organization could help bring a winning culture and atmosphere to Ford Field. Who are those names? Let me help out with some.
Connections – Some Notable Names from the New England Patriots & New England area over time:
- General Manager Bob Quinn comes from Massachusetts and holds his college degrees from the University of Connecticut.
- DET fires Head Coach Jim Caldwell, at the time, Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia is hired from New England to become their head coach.
- Special teams coordinator John Bonamego was at the University of Maine prior to Detroit.
- Trey Flowers, defensive end – 5 years, $90M during 2019 NFL Offseason (came over from New England during the offseason)
- Danny Amendola, wide receiver (Came from Miami, but was Tom Brady’s target for four seasons)
And now, this offseason:
- Jamie Collins, Linebacker – 3 years, $30M
- Danny Shelton, Defensive Tackle – 2 years, $8M
- Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver – back on a one-year, $5M deal
- Duron Harmon, Safety, and a 7th-round pick acquired from New England for 5th-round pick
- Some personnel changes – new Defensive Coordinator Cory Undlin came from the Philadelphia Eagles organization but had his start in New England. Tyrone McKenzie, the new linebackers coach also had a similar start to Undlin, as he was drafted by the Patriots to get introduced to the NFL. Tony Carter (defensive backs) & Steve Gregory (defensive assistant) both also got their start in Foxboro.
I may be missing some, but notice anything between the two? The obsessions – the transactions – the connections. The joint practices of last year.
I was listening to KFAN out of Minneapolis (now living in the Twin Cities metro) and Paul Allen brought up NFL Free Agency and this particular coincidence: It’s apparent that Detroit loves anything that has to do with the New England Patriots – and it’s quite comical to notice the transactions that take place each year as the Lions look to improve within the division and compete with the NFC North (it results in false hope and constant spinning of the tires.) Call it what you will, but has anyone considered that New England is parting ways with players that they believe are past their prime and now letting teams like Detroit make the mistake of tying their money in players who don’t live up to those expectations? I have yet to see one other team have as much obsession with former Patriots than the Lions do.
Bill Belichick (former Lions assistant coach himself back in 1976) has helped make a career for his former players all-over the league – getting the Lions front office to bite on a lot of his former players. Time will tell, and time is a flat circle, but again, is Detroit making the right decision looking to former Patriots to help get them over the hump and get them their first playoff game since 1991?