With Guard Situation Unsettled, Detroit Lions Trying to Retain Rob Sims


Since the signing of Rashean Mathis, all has been quiet on the Detroit Lions’ free agency front. Perhaps that’s been because Martin Mayhew hasn’t spoken until Monday.

At the NFL annual meetings in Arizona, Mayhew talked on a variety of issues and confirmed that the team is talking with free agent guard Rob Sims about a potential return for next season. Josh Katzenstein of The Detroit News has the story.

"General manger Martin Mayhew said in late February that he’d “love” to bring Sims back, and on Monday, he said the Lions have taken steps to make that happen.“We’ve been in contact with Rob, and we’ve had some dialogue with him about a contract,” Mayhew told local reporters at the NFL annual meetings at the Arizona Biltmore resort."

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The status of Sims has been in limbo since the beginning of free agency. The Lions decided to let Dominic Raiola walk, leading many to wonder if they were committed to a complete youth movement along the line putting the stable 31 year-old Sims in jeopardy of losing his job.

Since, the team hasn’t been linked publicly to any free agent guards besides Atlanta’s Justin Blalock who left Detroit without a contract after visiting a few weeks ago and has yet to sign on with a team despite making a few other notable visits.

Sims himself hasn’t seen much concrete activity on the market despite reported interest from other teams, and that could be because he’s been interested in a Detroit return for some time. Katzenstein had the earlier quotes from him on that matter.

"“We’d love to be back,” Sims said in February, speaking about his wife. “We built a life here…. We want to be able to finish our work here that we started with this. We have business here. We’ve played good ball here.”"

Whether it be Sims or Blalock, it’s looking like the Lions will go with an apprenticeship at guard much like they did at center last season. Expect them to sign a veteran, then add a rookie at some point during the draft for the veteran to bring along. Perhaps they liked the way it worked with Raiola and Travis Swanson, who showed development and maturity.

Until there’s a signing, however, what will actually happen along the offensive line and at guard is still firmly up in the air.

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