Thursday Notes: Lions Sign Jackson, Buchanon

  • The Lions have announced the signing of defensive tackle Grady Jackson.  According to Steve Wyche, the deal is worth $8 million over three years.  Many have questioned this signing, saying that Jackson is "washed up," but it's not like the Lions spent a ridiculous amount of money.  Besides, there generally isn't much guaranteed money in a deal like this, so if he turns out to be a waste of money, the Lions could simply release him.  Personally, I think he will be worth the money, as he can come into a game and stuff the run.  He's not an every down type of player, but he helps with what was a lack of depth at DT.
  • The Lions also reportedly signed cornerback Phillip Buchanon.  His deal is worth $8.5 million over two years.  Buchanon immediately upgrades the Lions' secondary.  He, along with the recently acquired Anthony Henry, likely will fill the two vacant starting spots at cornerback.  That means that the Lions can shift their focus away from improving the secondary in the draft, at least with their first three picks.  Although I wouldn't be against drafting a talented corner, I don't think it's necessary to do so with one of the top three picks.  I don't know if the Lions were even thinking about that, but I bring it up because of the recent discussion about taking a corner in my mock draft posts. 
  • Defensive end Vonnie Holliday is scheduled to visit the Lions early next week.  He played for Gunther Cunningham for one season in Kansas City and was also in Miami at the same time as Scott Linehan.  Holliday is going to visit the Broncos today, so let's hope he doesn't pull a Chris Simms and sign immediately after visiting.  Simms, who just visited Denver, agreed to a two-year deal with the Broncos.  The Lions were reportedly interested in him, but he didn't make it out of Denver a free agent.
  • A private search for the three men still missing in the Gulf of Mexico began on Wednesday.
  • According to Nick Schuyler, the former South Florida football player who was rescued on Monday, Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith both took their life jackets off and let themselves be swept away after losing hope only a few hours after the boat capsized.  William Bleakley was with Schuyler until early Monday, which is when he saw a light and tried to swim for help.  Unfortunately he took his life jacket off as well, meaning that Schuyler is the only one that survived barring some unthinkable miracle.  Even Schuyler was close to not making it, as his doctor said that he had only five to ten hours left until he probably would have died.  The fact that anyone made it is a miracle.
  • Rod Marinelli spoke about Corey Smith in a story on the Bears' website.
  • The Lions put together a great piece about the kind of person Smith was off the field.
  • No Lions player will wear the #93 next year as a way to honor Corey Smith.
  • 97.1 FM radio host Mike Valenti is a piece of crap.  Plain and simple.  He went from an entertaining host to a wannabe shock job pretty quickly after WXYT shifted to FM, and since then he has been an asshole.  And that's saying it nicely.  I quit listening to him long ago, but apparently he read a joke on the air about Corey Smith earlier this week.  It was a joke sent in by a listener, but that is no excuse.  He didn't have to read it on the air, but he did and has since apologized after the Lions stepped in and spoke to WXYT, which is the team's flagship radio station.  Tom Lewand also apologized to Corey Smith's family for the remarks since they happened on a radio station that is affiliated with the Lions.

    Surprisingly, I think Mike Valenti actually summed up my feelings on the situation by saying this after he apologized: "The only thing I can promise you as my listeners is that it won't happen again. Otherwise, I'll tell you right now, I don't deserve to be around."  I feel that he shouldn't be around for other reasons, but he is definitely on his last strike, so to speak. 
  • Some recent free agent signings:

    Ray Lewis - Ravens
    Matt Birk - Ravens
    Laveranues Coles - Bengals
    Kurt Warner - Cardinals
  • Also, cornerback Jabari Greer, who recently visited the Lions, signed with the Saints.
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