The Lions made headlines last week for expressing interest in Pacman Jones and Anthony Hargrove. The buzz over Jones stemmed from the fact that the Lions met with him and then watched his private workout down in Louisiana. For Hargrove, the discussion revolved around the fact that the Lions brought in the restricted free agent for a visit, bringing up questions about how a move to sign the defensive lineman might change the team's draft strategy.
Jim Schwartz was recently asked about both players and where they stand with the Lions. For Jones, Schwartz made it known that his workout was merely the first step in the evaluation process.
"We're still in the information-gathering stage at this point,'' said Schwartz, who is in Orlando for the NFL owners meetings. "We sent (vice president of pro personnel) Sheldon White down for his workout, and he worked out good. In making the decision, it won't be a football-only decision. There will be other considerations. We want to have a comfort level with him and, like I said, we're still in the information-gathering stage.''
Schwartz's comments in the quote above and some of the other things he said about Jones make it seem like the Lions are more concerned about his character than anything else. Schwartz mentioned that Jones is "not going to look bad in a workout" because he is so athletic and that more evaluating needs to be done. He then started talking about how it's possible that players who have been in trouble can turn their life around and become a feel-good story, leading me to believe that the door for considering signing Pacman Jones is certainly open. After more evaluation is done, however, the question will involve if the door to actually signing him is open or closed.
Moving on to Hargrove, Schwartz was very candid about the restricted free agent, describing how the Lions would use him if he were to join the team.
"You know, the guy he reminded me the most of was Kevin Carter," said Schwartz, who coached Carter in Tennessee and considered bringing him to Detroit before Carter retired last year. "He’s a 285-pound guy that plays outside. He’d probably play end on first and second and then rush inside on third down. You’d try to match him up a little bit.
"He’s still young. I think, at some point, he'll probably be a full-time tackle. But I think what he is now is an end that moves down into a rush role, and he can do both of those. He’s a really athletic guy. I think he would fit in both of those roles."
At this point it doesn't exactly sound like anything is imminent with Hargrove or Jones. The Lions still have time to continue to evaluate Jones and decide if Hargrove is worth giving up a third-round pick to sign. It's possible the Lions could attempt to work out a trade with the Saints for Hargrove, but considering New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis said they want Hargrove back, I don't know if anything would develop in that regard. Perhaps only if the price is right.