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Thursday Notes: 2009 Salary Cap Increased by $4 Million

  • The salary cap was just increased by $4 million, putting the total number for 2009 at $127 million.  The Lions may be around $40 million under the cap, meaning they should be able to add quite a few players to the roster once free agency begins on Friday.  I don't think the Lions will go after any high-profile players, though.  They could definitely afford to, but since so many different positions need to be addressed, I'm guessing they will spread the money out in order to fill as many of those needs as possible.
  • Former Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, who is a free agent, talked up the Lions and said he has his eye on them during an interview on Sirius NFL Radio.  Although the Lions do need a backup, I would not be a fan of bringing in Grossman.  He constantly underperformed in Chicago, and I don't think the Lions need another below average QB on the roster.  They do need to make a move to find a backup for Daunte Culpepper, but I would rather see many players other than Grossman be signed.
  • Just to update everyone on the Matt Cassel trade I was offered in the Football Burrito mock draft, I turned it down.  Just like some of the other things I've asked for your opinion on recently, I was leaning toward turning it down and the poll results cemented my decision.  72% of the 292 votes said to turn down the trade, mainly because there are simply too many questions about how good Cassel would be on a team like the Lions.  Besides that, why give up a first-round pick for a player that could end up being the next Scott Mitchell?
  • Not a whole lot worth talking about has happened, but one thing I will make note of from the Football Burrito mock draft is that Andre Smith was picked by the Bengals with the #6 overall selection.  This is pretty surprising considering Smith's stock is dropping so far in real life.  Peter King actually thinks Smith could drop all the way to the #33 pick, which is the first selection of the second-round (the pick belongs to the Lions).  If Smith did end up falling that far and the Lions hadn't already drafted an offensive tackle, I would be in favor of pulling the trigger on him.  Would it be a gamble?  Of course.  But if you can get his head on straight you're looking at a steal.  There is no doubt that he is talented; his problem seems more mental than anything else.
  •'s Don Banks has the Lions picking Aaron Curry in his latest mock draft and's Pat Kirwan has the Lions selecting Jason Smith.  Although most mock drafts still have the Lions picking Matthew Stafford, there are more without Stafford being the top pick than there were before the combine.  Maybe some of these "experts" will start to realize that just because the Lions need a QB doesn't mean they will draft one with the top pick.  After all, they have needs at quite a few other positions as well.  I guess they just aren't as high-profile as the quarterback position to some of the draft analysts out there.
  • The Buccaneers cut Derrick Brooks, Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard, Warrick Dunn, and Cato June on Wednesday.

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