Creating a Sustainable Winner

The trade of Tate is right out of the Patriots playbook. They don’t just want to “win now”, they want to win every year. We weren’t going to pay Tate next year, so instead we trim fat off the cap and stockpile picks. Tate’s popularity didn’t figure into the equation. Even Brady and Gronk make exceptions for the Patriots bottom line.

Low cap/high picks lets us build our roster with younger/cheaper players and middling vets. It ensures depth of talent father down the roster.

I really like Tate, but I’m not knocking this strategy because I’ve seen it work in New England.

Edit: for grammar


That’s a VERY interesting take. And pretty logical. The Lions seem determined to make the system work, damn what the players think (well, outside of Stafford …). If Tate wasn’t willing to provide us breathing room for long term growth, and since I don’t think this roster is Super Bowl worthy, than maybe I’m OK with this … Nice post!

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I get it and I don’t disagree. But I still find myself processing this move. We are still in the thick of competing with the division. However, I do not think winning the division is the goal here. I truly believe that this is all about championship football and if you look through that lens, it really makes sense.

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I’m buying that this is the correct move.

A 3rd is valuable (something like 25% significant hit rate?) and Tate was unlikely to be resigned.

Also one of my favorite Lions but I appreciate that for a 9 game rental the return of a 3rd rounder is excellent.

He will be missed but there is offensive talent on this roster that mitigates the loss.

Go Lions.

Edit: technically an eight game rental as Philly is on bye. Best to Tate, but not to Philly.

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I have no doubt that the Lions are well aware of Tate’s asking price to remain in Detroit, and there’s no way they would let him go if it was something they could live with. It wasn’t apparently, so they cut their losses and got something out of it rather than nothing at all. Remember that the Lions have quite a bit of cap space that they will likely use to upgrade the talent on this team in the next off-season, which means they are not going to get a comp pick for Tate when he leaves. It might be different if they looked like a serious contender for the division or playoffs, but I think the writing was on the wall when they lost badly at home to the Seahawks. Frankly, I think this team has a very tough schedule that they will be fortunate to get to .500 for the season; I get it that the fan base is pretty tied of waiting for ‘next year’, but it is what it is,


I wouldn’t be happy with giving up now for winning next year, but I would be happy with putting our team in a position to create a sustainable dynasty.


Yeah, I just commented on another post stating the same thing. I’d rather look forward to the year with lessened anxiety, knowing that we’ll be in the hunt every year. Can you imagine?

Not to devalue Tate’s role but if we’re talking about the patriots way, his spot seems to be the easiest to fill with next man up. The patriots have made a living out of finding little slot receivers…

Randy Moss
Josh Gordon

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Yeah, I’m having major second thoughts at this point.


Maybe so. They at least get the benefit of the doubt from me.

You’re not going to hit on every player, but you have to make reasonable gambles and go for a player that has certain traits.

You can’t do that kind of thing immediately, especially following Martin Mayhew and Millen.

Mayhew cleaned up Millens mess. 2008 was 11 seasons ago!
That excuse doesn’t fly with me. Quinn has cut his own picks!


This is truly the Patriot way. And if the Lions become the Midwest’s Patriots, great! But being beaten in the head enough times by this team, it FEELS like we go that route and never see it payoff.

With the Lions the way they are year in and year out, it seems the only real enjoyment we get out of this team is the times when we have a true superstar on the roster and can simply enjoy the great plays when they come around (Sanders, Megatron and, yes, even Stafford). Losing Tate has taken away some of those enjoyable moments that it sometimes seems is all we have left as a fan.

Now, taking my cynic hat off for a minute…the Patriots way sure seems to work so I’m logically not against going that route, it’s just…scary?

Let’s be honest.

How much of that is Brady not asking for $40M because he’s not even the breadwinner in his own home?

I get it … Patriots smart; rest of league dumb.

But that plays more of a role than I ever hear people pr pundits give it credit for.

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Mayhew was here during Millen’s years. I suspect he was responsible for a lot of the mess.

Look at the parallels in drafting style.

Disruptive DTs. Receiving mismatches. (TE’s instead of WRs and already had CJ…) Lateral moves on OL until way late…

I see eerie similarity between taking WR threat (Ebron) instead of trenches…

Mayhew’s not off the hook for that and certainly not a hero, either.

I believe 2008 was a tank job in order to get Stafford (I think they were probably targeting Bradord, but Bradford bailed on the 2009 draft).

Adrian, I think that truly is the lost fact in much of this. TB taking care of the team is a major reason for the later success of the dynasty. But the Patriots seem to out-prep the competition too. If you ask me who the NFL GOAT is, I lean BB, not TB. But that team has been good for a long time.


There are many factors to NE success. The division they are in is the worst division in football. So basically they get a 6-0 start on every season. Take Buffalo for example, the Pats with Brady are 28-3 vs. Buffalo. The Jets have been a disaster. Miami hasn’t won anything since Marino and they didn’t win then either since Don Shula. There are people here who don’t know who he is.
Combine that with one great coach and one great, starting QB and you have a dynastic foundation.
In our division, they had Minnesota, Bud Grant and Fran Tarkenton, then Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre in GB followed by Rodgers and the coach they just fired. Basically, a weak division with strong QB and consistent coaching.
Detroit had a few strong years with Barry Sanders. The Bears had a great team for a couple of years but for the last fifty years Green Bay and Minnesota have dominated this division.
When you look at Pittsburgh you can see they played Cleveland and Cincinnati and those teams have been consistently bad or mediocre and they had Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin with Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger. So really, it is not hard to understand where these teams are better and really understandable why NE retains its primacy over the AFC East.

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I would go back to the 80’s 49ers with Montana and say the same thing.

Great new system with great players in one of the most feeble divisions in history. (Aints, Rams, Falcons)