Detroit Lions are Wins Above Replacment free agent winners

Embed from Getty Images One week into the NLF offseason, Pro Football Focus looked at each teams additions and subtractions, along with Wins Above Replacement or WAR. The Detroit Lions came is as the 4th biggest winner.

Wins Above Replacement, is a non-standardized sabermetric statistic developed to sum up a player’s total contributions to his team. It is newer to the NFL and football as WAR has been used in baseball for some time. Yet it is just as effective.

Now, let us take a look at what WAR shows us with newly signed free agents by the Detroit Lions, We will start with Detroit’s big signee defensive edge rusher Trey Flowers. The Lions signed Flowers to a 5 year $90 million dollar deal is he worth it?

WAR shows us that Flowers had at least 77 quarterback pressures in each of the past two seasons. What does that mean? The Lions have had no, zero pass-rusher in the Pro Football Focus (PFF) era that had more than 72 pressures in a season. Not only that but only twice since 2006 has a Lions pass-rusher had more than 70. Ndamukong Suh had 72 in 2013 and Ezekiel Ansah had 71 in 2014. Making Flowers a solid addition.

The next big Detroit Lions free agent get was cornerback Justin Coleman. What did WAR reveal about Coleman? Tracy Walker and Darius Slay were the only two Detroit defensive backs to that saw grades above 70.0 for the Detroit Lions. Last season was Justin Coleman’s second season in a row where he rated at 75.0. His near third of WAR shows us how valuable Coleman is.

While it is true the Detroit Lions have spent money this offseason. WAR shows us they spent the money wisely. The grabbed two players who are both 25 years old and who both rate high in WAR. So Detroit clearly did their homework. Not only nabbing two players entering their prime, but players who without doubt helped their teams.


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