Detroit Lions Listed As One Of Worst Free Agent Destinations

“Especially with Matt ‘I think I’m Belichick but I haven’t done s---’ Patricia,” one agent said.

Evan Jankens
March 12, 2019 - 10:19 am

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

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Judging by the way things went down in free agency on Monday, plenty of NFL players want to join the Lions. 

Detroit began the day by signing Danny Amendola, then agreed to deals with Justin Coleman, Trey Flowers and Jesse James. 

But according to a report from SI.com, the Lions are one of the worst free agency destinations in the NFL. This is based on a poll of 15 NFL agents who were asked to name the five most desirable and five least desirable teams in the eyes of their clients. 

The Lions were named the fourth least desirable destination, in part because of the city they call home:

Rust Belt cities in general did poorly in our survey. Cincinnati, Detroit and Cleveland all made the Bottom 5. ... Agents said each city is judged to have a boring nightlife, according to the players. “Weather and [sex] are huge factors,” one agent said.

Where things get especially interesting in regard to the Lions is the perception of Matt Patricia: 

Detroit...has the added knock of a locker room that appears dysfunctional to players looking in from the outside. “Especially with Matt ‘I think I’m Belichick but I haven’t done s---’ Patricia,” one agent said. 

Early last season, there were reports of veteran unrest in the the Lions locker room due to Patricia's new rules and intense practices. The problems seemed to fade as the year went on. 

As for the top free agency destinations, Dallas leads the way, followed by Seattle, Miami, the L.A. Rams and Atlanta. Buffalo was named the least desirable destination, largely due to "weather and a recent history of losing." 

In general, of course, it's the money that matters most. Said one agent, "I think most players take the most money regardless of location, as they should. But when it’s equal, that’s when this debate gets interesting."

Whatever knocks there are against the Lions, none of them seemed to matter on Monday. Of course, it likely helped that they went after three former Patriots who enjoyed playing for Patricia in New England.