DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Shaun Hill #14 of the Detroit Lions looks for a receiver against the Denver Broncos Sports Authority at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 30, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Lions defeated the Broncos 45-10. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The last couple of years, the Detroit Lions have had quite the insurance policy for Matthew Stafford. When he went down with shoulder injuries in 2010, the Lions were able to call upon a solid backup in Shaun Hill. And when Hill went down, the Lions confidently turned to Drew Stanton. The two backups helped the Lions close out 2010 on a four-game winning streak.
Luckily, neither Hill nor Stanton needed to be called upon in 2011. Stafford made it through the season without missing any time, which hopefully is an indication of how things will be in the future. Since there is no guarantee, having a good backup is still important, and according to Dave Birkett, the Lions want Hill back and Hill wants to stay in Detroit.
The Lions have told Hill, his representatives and others that they want him back as the primary backup to Matthew Stafford. Hill also wants to return to Detroit -- and might even take a slight discount to do so.
Chances are a deal with Hill will happen at some point. The real uncertainty revolves around what will happen with Stanton. After not being active for a single game this past season, he may be inclined to look for an opportunity elsewhere, although he may enjoy playing for his hometown team enough to come back if offered a deal. At the very least, I would bet on him testing the market before anything happens with the Lions.