FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 16: Dallas Cowboys guard Leonard Davis speaks during a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway on April 16, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Offensive guard Leonard Davis, who worked out for the Detroit Lions earlier this week, is going to sign with the team, according to Rep 1 Sports (Davis is one of their clients) and Scout.com's Aaron Wilson.
Although Davis was just in town for a workout, this move surprises me. Davis worked out for the Lions back in August and Detroit didn't decide to add him then. Now, however, the Lions have apparently elected to bring Davis aboard for the second half of the season.
What this means for the Lions offensive line is unclear right now. Davis has been a free agent since the Dallas Cowboys parted ways with him after the lockout ended at the end of July. He hasn't practiced since the end of the 2010 season, and you wouldn't think a lineman suddenly joining a team in the middle of the season would be ready to immediately play.
It's also not clear right now who is being let go to make room for Davis. The Lions currently have only two guards on the roster -- Stephen Peterman and Rob Sims -- and they are both starters. Dylan Gandy can play guard as well, but he is the backup center. The Lions have four tackles on the roster -- starters Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus and backups Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox -- and none seem like players who are candidates to be released. Unless there is an injury that suddenly happened, it looks like Davis is being brought in at the expense of a player at another position.
The obvious question that needs to be asked is this: Is the move to sign Davis an indication that the Lions want to shake up their offensive line (most likely at right guard), or is this simply a move to add a player who can be a quality backup. I'm really not sure. While Davis did make the Pro Bowl in 2007, 2008 and 2009, you have to imagine a team would have picked him up by now if he is still a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Maybe the Lions think he can still play at that level and figure it's worth bringing him in since the risk is low. At worst, he is a quality backup at guard, a position with very little depth. At best, perhaps he is a player who can step in at some point during the second half of the season and improve an offensive line that has been very inconsistent this year.
It will be very interesting to hear what Jim Schwartz has to say about this move in the coming days. The Lions will soon return from their bye week to get ready for the Chicago Bears game next Sunday, and it appears they will have a new face on the offensive line with Davis reportedly set to join the team.