With NFL free agency set to start in a little over 3 hours, rumors involving the Detroit Lions are running rampant. Let’s see where the worst run team in professional sports stands.
From all reports, the Shaun Rogers “situation” will come to a head on Friday when the trade moratorium is lifted. We’ve heard there’s plenty of interest around the NFL in Rogers, with the Jets, Broncos, Dolphins, and Jaguars specifically inquiring about the availability of the chubby, underachieving, yet undeniably talented, tackle.
Denver has supposedly offered cornerback Domonique Foxworth, and possibly a draft pick. The Jets offer would involve linebacker Johnathan Vilma. Jacksonville is dangling defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. All we know regarding the Fish is their new head honcho, VP of football operations Bill Parcells, has approached the Lions about Rogers, but nothing has been leaked as to what the Big Tuna has offered in return.
Personally, as much as I hate to say this, in my mind the Denver offer is the most enticing, if only for one reason. Foxworth is healthy.
Vilma and Stroud are very good players, and would definitely fill needs, but their injury histories (Vilma’s degenerative knee condition, and Stroud still having ankle issues stemming from 2006 micro fracture surgery) are massive red flags.
Foxworth was a nickel back in Denver, and with Dre’ Bly and Champ Baily starting at corner, and both with quite large contracts, supposedly Denver considers him expendable. Which, to be honest, is a big time red flag in itself. If Foxworth is good enough to essentially be Denver’s 3rd corner, in today’s pass happy NFL, why would Denver be willing to let a young defensive back go?
No matter what team the moron does business with, and whatever player he gets in return, it’s going to be second guessed because Matt Millen is the “brains” behind the trade. Odds are good we’ll know by this time tomorrow how badly Millen was fleeced.
As for free agents the Lions are targeting, Bucs corner Brian Kelly, Chargers corner Drayton Florence, and Dolphins offensive tackle L.J. Shelton appear to be in their sights. Again, all would fill needs. Big time needs. It just remains to be seen if they would be willing to join the bottom feeding Lions, and at what price. The Lions have tended to overpay for free agents, because…Well, because they are the Lions.
Some of the cornerback depth issues have been taken care of, thanks to today’s resigning of Keith Smith for 2 years at $5 million total, $2 million guaranteed. Seems like quite a lot of coin for a player who has yet to do much of anything in his first 4 NFL seasons. But the Lions need bodies, and Smith is definitely fills the need for warm bodies. If he actually fills a need at corner is another discussion altogether.
As for players who became unrestricted free agents the Lions want to bring back, it’s a short list. Corner Travis Fisher, running back T.J. Duckett, and guard/tackle Damien Woody, though I’d be surprised if Woody resigns. If I were to venture a guess, Fisher resigns with the Honolulu blue and silver, and it’s 50/50 for Duckett. I doubt running back Tatum Bell, and linebackers Boss Baily and Teddy Lehman return. They won’t be missed.
As for the Lions restricted free agents, defensive tackle Langston Moore, QB Dan Orlovsky, guard Stephen Peterman and cornerback Stanley Wilson were all tendered. That gives the Lions right of first refusal if those players are offered a contract by another team, and would receive a compensatory draft pick if they are allowed to walk. I’m thinking they all return.
So that’s were the Lions stand with 3 hours till the NFL feeding frenzy begins. Having to overpay for free agents, and take chances on players with significant injury histories. As a fan, I hope the Lions make the right personnel choices. As a long-time fan, I doubt that happens.