Detroit's pair of first-round draft picks from 2004 will be entering the final year of their contracts next season. That pair is Roy Williams and Kevin Jones, who are two big contributors to this team. With the contract year coming up in 2008, decisions will have to be made in regards to where Roy and K.J. will be playing in 2009. Whether that means trading them, franchising one of them, or working out a long term deal, all are options. Even so, Tom Kowalski reports that we probably shouldn't be too optimistic in getting both back.
Kowalski goes on to explain that a number of things are contributing to this alleged attitude of them wanting to leave Detroit. For Roy, it's the fact that he loves Texas. That's his home, and according to Kowalski, he tries to get down there every chance he gets. Along with that, Williams isn't exactly a happy camper anymore when it comes to the Mike Martz offense as he really hasn't been utilized to the fullest of his abilities this season. Against Minnesota it appeared that changed, but an injury cut a potential great game short.
For Kevin Jones, it is obvious why he wants to leave: there is no running game in Detroit. It's one thing for a running back to have to carry the ball behind a bad offensive line, but now that the running game appears to be getting phased out altogether, I can't blame Jones for wanting to escape.
In the end, as I said, there are options. If Detroit knows for sure that they won't be getting one or both of these players back, then a trade could be made to get something out of the eventual loss. At the same time, if Detroit wants to keep one of them, there's always the franchise tag, which has been used twice in the last two years by the Lions to keep Jeff Backus and Cory Redding in the Motor City.
When it comes down to it, I wouldn't be surprised if the franchise tag is placed on one of them, but at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if other options are explored, such as a trade. I highly doubt the Lions are able to keep both Roy and K.J. in Detroit, but hopefully one of them can be brought back.