Friday Free Agency Notes: Smith Signed, Vilma Traded, More

  • Free agency officially started today and there already is a flurry of activity.  The Lions haven't been too busy yet, but they certainly will be considering how many needs exist.  Also beginning today was the ability to officially make trades, and the Lions will be working the phones trying to get a deal done to send Shaun Rogers out of Detroit.
  • One person that won't be coming to Detroit in exchange for Shaun Rogers is Jonathan Vilma.  The Jets middle linebacker was shopping himself around the league for a trade and actually visited Detroit earlier this week.  There was much speculation that a deal would happen between the Lions and Jets to ship Rogers to New York and Vilma to Detroit as both teams would get players they need.

    Trading for Vilma would have been a great move for the Lions, but that is no longer an option as the one-time Miami Hurricane has been traded to New Orleans.  Detroit still will likely be in contact with the Jets in regards to trading Shaun Rogers, but I wouldn't expect a deal with NY to happen now that Vilma is gone.
  • Other than the Jets, another team interested in Rogers is the Denver Broncos.  If Detroit made another offseason trade with them, then one player they may get from Denver is cornerback Domonique Foxworth.  I would imagine the Broncos would have to include a draft pick as well to make the trade happen, but Foxworth would be a decent addition considering he helps fill the need at CB.
  • The latest team to get in on the Shaun Rogers sweepstakes is the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Jags defensive tackle Marcus Stroud has been given permission to seek a trade, so there is some speculation that Jacksonville and Detroit could swap their defensive tackles.  I wouldn't really like this move as much as some of the others that are rumored to be in the works, but I will take a player over a draft pick any day.  Since Matt Millen drafting skills are so bad, I don't have any trust in him finding a player capable of starting, especially in the later rounds.  Plus, trading for a proven player is much better than drafting an inexperienced rookie.
  • Moving on from Shaun Rogers, the Lions re-signed cornerback Keith Smith last night before free agency began.  Smith would have been a free agent if he didn't get re-signed, and the Lions had no intentions of letting that happen since that can't afford to lose any more corners.  According to Mike O'Hara, Smith's contract will give him $5 million and $2 million guaranteed.
  • Chargers cornerback Drayton Florence, who is a free agent, expects the Lions to go after him.  Florence sounds like he would be willing to sign with the Lions, and I think that would be a good move by Detroit.  Adding another CB is important, and Florence is a solid player.
  • Another cornerback Detroit will likely go after is Brian Kelly, who just bought out his contract from Tampa Bay.  Since he is a former Buccaneer, it should just be assumed the Lions will try to sign him.
  • The Lions supposedly are very interested in signing free agent running back Michael Turner, the one-time backup of LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego.  Turner would be a nice addition considering Kevin Jones seems to be injury-prone.  Plus, he may even be better than Jones, which would give the Lions their starter.
  • The Jets are reportedly interested in Damien Woody and the Broncos in Boss Bailey.  Both are free agents right now, and neither really are likely to return to Detroit.  There's a chance Woody could be re-signed, but I think Bailey's career in Detroit is over.
  • Lions backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan has followed Mike Martz to San Francisco as he signed with the 49ers.  This isn't a loss at all as the Lions really had no plans to bring O'Sullivan back since Drew Stanton is now healthy and Dan Orlovsky is still on the team.

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