Sunday Notes: Lions Tried to Trade for Cutler?

  • The Jon Kitna trade has been confirmed and we now know that no draft picks were part of the deal.  The Cowboys got Kitna and the Lions got cornerback Anthony Henry, who presumably will be a starter in Detroit.

    I've got to hand it to Martin Mayhew.  I don't know what it is with the Cowboys, but Mayhew just has a way with them.  Kitna was set to earn a $1 million roster bonus on March 3, meaning he would have been released before then.  That's only a couple days away from now, meaning the Cowboys very well could have signed him then.  Regardless, they decided to make a trade that gave Detroit a starting cornerback in exchange for a player that would have been off the roster in the immediate future anyways.
  • I will point out that Kitna restructured his contract with the Cowboys to help Dallas' salary cap.  That makes me think that getting rid of Henry was a salary cap move, and the Cowboys figured they would pick up a backup quarterback during the process.  If that is the case, the trade makes more sense from their perspective.  Still, it is a tad on the odd side.
  • Lost in the news of the Kitna trade is the deal that both the Lions and Buccaneers reportedly tried to pull off.  It involved the Patriots and the Broncos and would have sent Jay Cutler to Detroit or Tampa Bay if a deal had been done.  Here are the details:
    While New England and Kansas City were agreeing to Saturday’s trade of Cassel to the Chiefs for the draft’s 34th overall pick, there were more teams in the mix. Detroit, Tampa and Denver were involved in trade talks of their own also tied to Cassel, according to sources in the respective NFL cities.

    Tampa approached Denver to try to make a three-way trade that would have sent Cassel to the Broncos and quarterback Jay Cutler to the Buccaneers. The Broncos entertained the notion and pondered it but ultimately decided against it.

    Also, the Lions approached the Broncos about a trade for Cutler, trying to dangle Cassel as bait. Once again, Denver debated the deal and opted against it apparently. What made it a moot point was that while all Tampa, Detroit and Denver engaged in trade talks with New Engalnd, the Patriots went ahead and dealt Cassel to the Chiefs.
    As if the wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes wasn't surprising enough, the biggest shocker is that the Patriots supposedly turned down Tampa's offer of a first- and third-round pick.  Had that trade happened, it would have sent Cassel to Denver and Cutler to the Buccaneers.

    I love that Mayhew was in on these talks, as a deal that would have landed the Lions Jay Cutler would have been downright amazing.  Although nothing beyond talks developed with the Patriots and the Broncos, I'm not totally shutting the door on the possibility of a team trading for Cutler just yet.  It seems highly unlikely, but Cutler thinks the Broncos will continue to shop him, and even if they don't, he seems to be pretty offended by the team's actions.  What's more, he used the past tense when describing his time in Denver, leading me to believe that this saga is far from over.
  • Wide receiver Michael Clayton visited the Lions Saturday afternoon and later headed to Minnesota before deciding to re-sign with the Buccaneers.  The fact that he was visiting with the Lions this afternoon tells me that Detroit is still looking to add depth at receiver.  Even though Bryant Johnson was signed, we should probably expect an additional transaction involving the WR position during the free agency period.
  • Jabari Greer visited the Lions Saturday night.
  • Dave Birkett got some quotes from new Lion Eric King.
  • Dan Orlovsky visited the Texans, who are now looking for a backup QB since they traded Sage Rosenfels to the Vikings.
  • If the Lions would have shown serious interest in Albert Haynesworth, he would have considered heading to Detroit because of Jim Schwartz.
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