Last week in Indianapolis, Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew made it known that he wants quarterback Drew Stanton on the team next season. Mayhew talked about Stanton's improvement and how he played when given the chance last season. Both Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill went down with injuries, and Stanton successfully stepped in as the Lions' starting quarterback.
With Stanton set to become a restricted free agent under the rules of the current collective bargaining agreement, the Lions have tendered him a contract at the original-round level. Since Stanton was a second-round pick in 2007, that is the compensation Detroit would get if he signed elsewhere and the Lions declined to match the offer made to him.
Just as with all restricted free agents, whether or not these tenders apply in the new CBA remains to be seen. It's possible that the rules could change and have four-year players become unrestricted. That would allow Stanton to go wherever he wanted. While it would undoubtedly be tough for him to leave the state of Michigan considering he has played football here all of his life, you never know what opportunities may be out there.
Whatever happens with Stanton remains to be seen, but for now he is a restricted free agent whose rights are retained by the Lions.