The Lions made their first notable free agent signing when they brought in wide receiver Golden Tate on a fairly reasonable deal. However, that could not be the end of it. They still have work to do, but they have made a couple smaller deals worth nothing. They've brought back tight end Brandon Pettigrew and signed defensive end Darryl Tapp.
The Pettigrew deal is for four years and $16 million, with $8 million guaranteed. I'm not too enthused about this, mostly because Pettigrew isn't very good. I mean, he is a good blocker, and blocking tight ends that can also sort of catch are getting rarer. More and more tight ends are in the mold of Joseph Fauria. The issue is that saying Pettigrew can sort of catch may be a stretch. He drops a lot of balls, and he fumbles a lot of catches. It isn't a lot of money, but I'm hoping Pettigrew is mostly blocking and occasionally getting the ball thrown to him.
Tapp, meanwhile, signed a one-year deal, probably to try and generate some buzz for next offseason. Well, at least that would make sure he's motivated. The Lions lost Willie Young, who was a decent pass rusher, so they needed somebody. Frankly, they still need somebody, but now they can draft, say, a fourth rounder or fifth rounder to add to the mix. Tapp is 29, and he had a couple good seasons back in Seattle. The problem is that those seasons were in 2007 and 2008. He's slipped since then. Maybe he can rebound, but I doubt that.
So, these two signings are just for depth. Neither Pettigrew nor Tapp is going to make a big difference, if any. More things will happen. Hopefully they will be more significant, and more positive.