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Tate's situation is going to be worth monitoring, because though he's said he wants to stay with the Lions, he should be due for a raise despite turning 30 on Aug. It would be a surprise if Tate, Marvin Jones and Golladay were not on the roster. The Lions are 36 percent below average in their tight end spending -- mostly because Eric Ebron was cut last month. The wrench here will be how much draft capital Detroit puts into tight end.
A high-to-mid-round pick could mean carrying four tight ends or a surprise cut in the room. Considering Willson and Toilolo are on one-year deals, that might be a possibility. Despite last year's two big signings Lang and Rick Wagner , the Lions are below the league average in offensive line spending. A lot of this has to do with two starters -- Taylor Decker and Graham Glasgow -- on rookie contracts.
That has given Detroit some flexibility here, and it would not be surprising to see Detroit draft an offensive lineman, too. This is a big year for the money-makers on the line, too. So this position could get much more expensive 12 months from now. What does all this mean: With no additions and three of the team's top four defensive ends heading toward some type of free agency in Ansah and Cornelius Washington unrestricted, Kerry Hyder restricted , that screams that a draft pick or two will be used, giving Detroit future options and fortification for a group that struggled to pressure quarterbacks the past two seasons.
Of course, a scheme shift will likely alter some of that, but Detroit should be using draft capital here -- perhaps even a first-rounder. That the Lions are likely to add at least one defensive tackle in the draft. Though Detroit is close to the league average in spending at the position, Williams is on a one-year deal and is the team's second-most costly tackle.
Besides the money factor, there's need. Defensive tackle, at this point, feels like the team's biggest need entering the draft and they could have a bunch of options at No. The money mirrors that thought process as well. This position got the biggest makeover of all and spending is still almost 40 percent below the league average. That's in part because middle linebacker Jarrad Davis is on the second year of his rookie deal.
A draft pick could get used here, particularly if Detroit plans on using more looks, and the money would suggest that it's possible. The cap hit doesn't include Quandre Diggs who I moved to safety , and is bolstered by two potential starters -- Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew -- on rookie deals. So this position group could be close to set before the start of camp -- at least with its top five.
That was part of the backdrop but not its entirety. Griffith unleashed his fury because he was living in a time in which electroshock therapy was used to change people like him; in which police would harass, even jail people like him; in which -- like a smog of hate they couldn't escape breathing -- the world was denigrating people like him every day of their lives. That was also the first time he spoke openly about being bisexual. Until then, he struggled to accept that part of himself, even as the world around him became more accepting.
It would be a grave mistake to summarize what happened that Saturday night to Paret called Griffith a name. You have to understand this was New York in Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin and Langston Hughes -- three writers intertwined in the ongoing influence of the Harlem Renaissance -- were just up the street, partying with Nina Simone, making their art an essential part of the civil rights movement narrative.
Some doing so while living a relatively openly gay life. Something Griffith, who quietly visited gay nightclubs, felt he could not do as a professional athlete. We know about the anxiety and suicidal thoughts some closeted athletes go through while trying to keep their sexual orientation a secret.
Griffith illuminates the anger that is sometimes woven into the fabric of oppression. An anger that is contained by the mask that many closeted people -- athletes and non-athletes alike -- wear in order to hide. Then one day -- while competing in a sport that encourages anger, thrives on rage, demands savagery -- the mask falls off.
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