Free agency news regarding the Lions has been at a trickle compared the rush of reports centered around other teams but Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Lions have a visit set up with one free agent offensive lineman:
Former Panthers OL Geoff Schwartz will visit the Lions on Friday
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 13, 2012
Geoff Schwartz was a seventh round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2008. He played in 16 games in 2009, including three starts, and started all 16 games for the Panthers in 2010. Schwartz’s 2011 season was lost due to injury and the team opted against tendering him a contract this offseason thus making him an unrestricted, instead of restricted, free agent.
The news isn’t likely to blow you over but don’t discount the potential impact here. Schwartz has the ability to play both guard and tackle and drew glowing remarks from Pro Football Focus in their 2012 preview on bargain free agents. Here is what they had to say:
When the Carolina Panthers opted against tendering Schwartz, there was a collective gasp from the PFF team. Sure Ron Rivera wasn’t in charge when Schwartz managed to finish 2010 with a PFF grade of +12.3 despite playing two positions, but it wouldn’t have been hard to watch some tapes and see he’s got more talent than anything they can currently put out on the right side of their line. Schwartz offers the kind of versatility and talent that brings to mind a poor man’s Marshal Yanda; good enough to make him the best right tackle available and possibly the best value guard too. He has a very real chance to be this year’s Evan Mathis for a team with a diligent scouting department.