ESPN's Mike Sando is reporting that the NFL has reinstated the Detroit Lions' seventh-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Lions will now lose their seventh-round pick in 2012 instead. In essence, their tampering punishment still stands, but at least now the Lions have six picks in this year's draft rather than five.
By getting their seventh-round pick in this year's draft back, the Lions now have the following six picks:
- Round 1, pick No. 13, overall pick No. 13
- Round 2, pick No. 12, overall pick No. 44
- Round 3, pick No. 11, overall pick No. 75
- Round 4, pick No. 10, overall pick No. 107
- Round 5, pick No. 23, overall pick No. 154 (originally had pick No. 9 in the fifth round -- the 140th overall pick -- but that now belongs to Kansas City as part of the swap of fifth-round selections)
- Round 7, pick No. 2, overall pick No. 205 (acquired from Denver as part of Alphonso Smith deal)
UPDATE: From Pro Football Talk:
We’ve learned that the Lions will lose a sixth-round pick in next year’s draft if they make the playoffs. They’ll lose a seventh-round pick if they miss the playoffs, for a 12th straight year. The league reasoned that this year’s pick was worth more because of the labor situation.
I'm sorry, but either the Lions tampered or not. Putting contingencies on the punishment seems pretty stupid, as does delaying it a year. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Lions will get another pick this season, but I don't buy the NFL's way about rectifying this situation.