Detroit Lions To Sign RT Ricky Wagner

When the legal tampering period ends and the free agency period opens today at 4pm eastern time, the Detroit Lions will be signing Ricky Wagner, the right tackle from Baltimore, to replace Riley Reiff as their starting right tackle.  Wagner is considered the best right tackle available in free agency, and with Detroit having the option of re-signing Reiff or targeting a better tackle in Wagner, Bob Quinn went big and targeted Wagner.

According to Pro Football Focus, Wagner is a clear upgrade over Reiff in terms of his pass protection.  Some writers also believe he is an upgrade over Reiff in terms of run blocking as well.  The negative in Wagner over Reiff is that Wagner will not play left tackle in the event that Taylor Decker gets hurt whereas Reiff could.  With the upgrade at the tackle position though, the Lions have the flexibility to start a weaker right guard in Laken Tomlinson or Joe Dahl instead of needing to target an upgrade at that position in free agency.

Another positive to the Lions landing Ricky Wagner is that they no longer need to target a right tackle high in the draft.  The draft is weak at tackle and they would have needed to take one in the first round in order to get a starter at the position for this season.  Signing Wagner means that the Lions can focus on defense in the draft, which is arguably their biggest need.

Financial terms of this deal are not public due to the tampering period being in effect still, but the rumors are that the deal is for roughly 9 million per season.

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