BOCA RATON, Fla. – In an interview with Detroitlions.com Tuesday at the NFL League Meetings, Lions general manager Bob Quinn said he wanted to build up the trenches of his new football team.
But with the first wave of free agency in the rearview mirror, the only addition the Lions have made to their offensive line is the signing of veteran tackle Lamar Holmes.
"You know, it's one of those situations where you look at the free agent list and the value that I place and the Lions placed on players wasn't quite where it was league-wide on some players," Quinn said. "That's how free agency is."
There are still plenty of ways Quinn and the Lions can upgrade upfront. Next month's NFL Draft is a good place to start. The Lions could also use the trade market, though Quinn said he hasn't been involved in any trade talks involving offensive lineman.
The Lions return all five starters from an offensive line that played better the second half of the season under offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and offensive line coach Ron Prince, but still had its issues protecting Matthew Stafford and blocking for the run game.
Among those returners is left tackle Riley Reiff.
"As of right now, he's going to be our left tackle," Quinn said of Reiff. "You know, free agency isn't over, the draft hasn't even started. There are multiple avenues to add players at not just the offensive line position, but all the other positions."
Reiff started at left tackle for the Lions each of the last three seasons. He was graded the 16th best left tackle that played in at least 10 games last season by Pro Football Focus.
"The topic of discussion is the offensive line right now, but I'm looking at every position amongst the team – the specialists, the returners, the receivers, the tight ends. You name the position, I'm trying to upgrade it," Quinn said.
"Does one take a priority over another at some point in time? Yes, but right now I'm kind of taking everything as it comes."