Brad Holmes and his Free Agent Signings

As good as Holmes has been drafting he has been pretty darn good with free agents too. Also trades. Not perfect and mistakes are fine as long as there are big hits.

Alex Anzalone. Dude has been fantastic this season. Blowing away my expectations.
CJGJ. Injured but a major player on a one year deal.
Buggs. Price was right.
Benito Jones. Role player.
WR/PR Kalif Raymond. A real player.
WR Josh Reynolds. Waited until he was cut then pounced.
Graham Glasgow. Stud here. Bought low.
Chark…one year deal. Didn’t work out, no long-term commitment.
CB Sutton. Great signing.
John Cominsky. Not as hot in 2023 but playing his role well.

Trinity Benson was a mistake. But a minor issue.

There are other minor moves too like our left guard depth.

Overall that is an incredible list. Not building a team through free agency but adding to the team’s talent level. No over pays overall. I thought this aspect was worth pointing out. Thoughts?


You forgot Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman, those were BH’s 2 biggest stinkers…but agree on the rest.


Yep, stinkers but also one year deals that didn’t hurt the team. Brad was looking for a little luck with a cash-strapped and talent-void team overall.

Jamaal Williams walked but that was a killer two-year deal. Didn’t overpay next.
RB Montgomery is a brilliant signing too.

Brad focused on re-signing our own guys (Tracy Walker, Ragnow) versus signing outside guys.

Brad isn’t trying to re-create the Rams and I love that. He is trying to create the Lions.


Forgot Moseley, not a bad signing just has been hurt the whole time, kinda like Tyrell Williams. Otherwise it’s a good list. Also agree on Jamaal Williams.

The misses are all very low risk. I would say as far as a “miss” goes Moseley might be the biggest one and that’s not really on Holmes.

His best hits as outlined by the OP are core players on the team. Commish Anzalone Reynolds Raymond and now Sutton are two huge building blocks. I bet Sutton re-ups with us. I bet Graham Glasgow finishes his career with us.


I think a better measure of his work in free agency is the guys he’s given multi-year contracts to, as that shows who he really had faith in when he signed them. Here’s the list:


  • 2021 - Jamaal (2 for $7.5m)
  • 2023 - Montgomery (3 for $18m)
  • 2023 - Sutton (3 for $33m)


  • 2021 - R Okwara (3 for $39m, agreed $9m paycut in 2023)
  • 2022 - J Reynolds (2 for $6m)
  • 2022 - Raymond (2 for $7m, since extended)
  • 2022 - Cabinda (2 for $4.1m)
  • 2022 - Walker (3 for $25m)
  • 2022 - C Harris (2 for $13m, agreed $3m paycut in 2023)
  • 2023 - Buggs (2 for $4.5m)
  • 2023 - Anzalone (3 for $18.75m)
  • 2023 - Cominsky (2 for $8.5m)
  • 2023 - Moore (2 for $4.5m)

The three external guys are A grade hits. Reynolds, Raymond, Cominsky and Anzalone are four more grade A hits.

Okwara and Harris haven’t worked out but Holmes got them both to take pay cuts this year so he’s mitigated that to some extent, and Okwara had an Achilles tear four games into his deal that so you can’t say that’s all on Holmes.

Walker had his own Achilles tear three games into his deal, has now been usurped and might be a cap casualty next year, but I don’t think anyone saw much wrong with that move at the time.

Cabinda is a bit of a mystery but he’s not on a huge deal. Buggs is another strange one, maybe a bit of an attitude issue but he’s also on a pretty cheap deal and has been productive when he’s played this season. It’s hard to fault Holmes with Moore since the gambling thing came out of nowhere.

Overall I would say it’s pretty good. There haven’t been any Flowers / Vaitai / Collins type big deals that have busted and left behind a bad cap situation, and he’s mitigated the worst contracts by agreeing pay cuts. He’s also found and kept some real glue guys in AA, Commish, Josh and Kalif.


That is an awesome breakdown, thank you for doing that. Very easy to see and understand.

What’s awesome is there are zero contracts there where if shit went to hell it still wouldn’t hurt us too bad. As opposed to contracts like Trey flowers, I forget Jamie Collins but if I recall Holmes first year was shedding a lot of bad contracts and getting us out of salary cap hell.

Moving forward I feel like we are operating like the better teams in the league in staying above water in the salary cap and using it to our advantage, keeping the players happy and the team happy. No more 9 year $100000000 deals that cripple the team even as the cap rises.


Those were more forced to just try an field a team, that’s not a mistake that is stretching what little cap money he had. Bad players yes but not mistake just try to get couple to help.

I think overal he has done better than any GM maybe 1 o2 did better.

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I disagree Walker has been balling an will be Lion next season. They may add a year an spread out Cap hit but he will be a Lion.


Exactly! Gospel according to Brad!


Moseley was a one year free agent miss. If he was right though that would have been great! One year gamble was worth it. Just like Chark.

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Yep right on, same thing with both those guys

Not sure why people blame Holmes for Tyrell Williams getting a career ending concussion in his first game with us.

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Hindsight’s a helluva drug


Perriman signing also cost us a 6th rd comp pick. That really annoyed me at the time because every pick is so valuable for a rebuilding team

Williams was released by the Raiders. I thought that meant that he fell outside the comp pick formula.

Yes, but Perriman was a compensatory free agent, so he counted against us

Three best FA signings by Holmes so far

  1. Sutton
  2. Anzalone
  3. K Raymond
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Best line that I’ll read today.


Duh. Sorry, bud. Your post was clear as can be. My brain got caught up in the earlier flow of the thread.

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I agree. He’s been good in coverage and he tackles. He doesn’t have a penchant for forcing turnovers. He can’t catch. LOL! But, he’s in the right place at the right time. Plus, Kerby is supposed to be the turnover machine, when he gets an opportunity. Walker stays. CJGJ, I don’t think, will be back.

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