Five Key Roster Decisions Facing Quinn And Patricia In 2020

It's a make-or-break year for the GM-coach tandem.

Will Burchfield
December 20, 2019 - 7:59 am

© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


So Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia will be back. That much we know. Otherwise, we're not all that sure what the Lions will look like next season, a season in which Quinn and Patricia will have their jobs on the line. 

They'll likely have a top three pick to use in the draft, plus about $50 million of cap space in free agency. They need tons of help on defense. They might need a good deal of help on the offensive line. Whatever moves the Lions make will be with a win-now mandate from ownership in mind. 

Quinn and Patricia have exhausted their time to build. This offseason is about putting the pieces in place that will turn a last-place team into a playoff contender. It's not just about who the Lions might add. More immediately, it's about who they may or may not keep.

Here are five key in-house decisions facing 'Quinntricia' in the months ahead. 

Darius Slay 

The biggest one, no doubt. And a barometer for just how much Quinn and Patricia are feeling the heat. They'd probably rather trade Slay for picks; they almost surely won't extend him. His outspoken ways don't mesh with their no-nonsense culture. But this defense is in no position to be shedding talent, no matter how much that talent wants to get paid. Quinntricia might be forced to bring Slay back with the knowledge he'll sign elsewhere in 2021. 

Rick Wagner

Three seasons into his five-year, $47.5 million deal, it's fair to say Wagner has been a bit of a letdown. He's been fine. Solid, even. But has he played like one of the five highest-paid right tackles in the NFL? No. And now the Lions have an out. They can cut Wagner loose and save $6.1 million against the cap in 2020 and $9 million in 2021. Question is, are they comfortable filling the hole Wagner would leave behind?

Graham Glasgow

If Kenny Golladay is Bob Quinn's best draft pick, Glasgow isn't all that far behind. The third-rounder in 2016 has turned into a force on the O-line. He hasn't missed a game in three seasons, and he's been one of the better guards and run-blockers in the NFL this year after a switch back from center. In other words, Glasgow is about to get paid. If the Lions don't pony up -- remember, they've played Glasgow in a rotation this season -- someone else will. 

Jarrad Davis

The Lions raved about Davis' character when they drafted him 21st overall in 2017. At least they were right about that. Otherwise, Davis hasn't lived up to expectations, at a position where he's expected to do a lot. He'll be back next season -- and he has been better of late -- but the Lions have to decide by May on Davis' fifth-year option, which is estimated to cost about $10 million. He's a culture fit for Quinntricia, but how much is that worth? 

Danny Amendola 

Speaking of culture fits, Amendola embodies everything Patricia is looking for. It's why the Lions signed him last offseason, and now Amendola is about to blow past his career high in yards. In a locker room that still feels uncertain about Patricia, Amendola -- like Trey Flowers -- is an important presence. The 34-year-old isn't getting any younger, but it's a good bet the Lions bring him back for at least another year.