The parade of aging former Buccaneers coming to Detroit continued yesterday with the signing of DT Chuck Darby, who essentially replaces the terminally hungry Shaun Rogers. I predicted this signing a few days ago, calling it a “done deal” for only one reason…His Tampa Bay Bucs background.
Darby spent the last 3 seasons with Seattle, but played only 6 games in 2007 due to a knee injury. Never mind his injury history, diminishing effectiveness or advancing age. More important to the Lions was Darby’s playing for the Bucs from 2001-04, being coached by Rod Marinelli. I can’t tell you if Darby has much left at age 32 (turning 33 mid season), but the Marinelli connection was good enough for the Lions to commit to a 3 year deal.
This signing comes off as another short term stop gap solution. How much can Darby truly bring to the Lions? It’s not as if Darby is a Pro bowl caliber player. His career high in tackles is 50, done 4 seasons ago, which also happened to be the walk year of his contract. Darby hasn’t come close since. He has 12 sacks…in 7 seasons. He is what he is, a journeyman defensive tackle who is on the down side of what is, at best, an average career.
This is another cautious free agent signing. The Lions appear to be avoiding younger, more expensive free agents, and opting to sign older players who have a history with Marinelli. They obviously plan to fix their bigger roster holes (Offensive line, running back, linebacker) through the draft.
It’d be a good strategy for a team with a committed owner, a smart front office and a sharp scouting staff. Unfortunately, the Lions have none of those things working for them. Asking the Lions to build through the draft is comparable to asking Pudge Rodriguez to be patient at the plate. It’s not going to happen.
Maybe the moron will surprise us all with a good draft. Riiiight, and pigs are going to fly. With a personnel track record that would have gotten any other GM in the NFL fired, a good draft by the porn ‘stached goon is nothing more than wishful thinking.
Overall, the signing of Chuck Darby is underwhelming news, at best. Darby may play the same position as Shaun Rogers, but he’s scarcely a replacement.