Back in April, when the Detroit Lions' depth chart at left guard was completely vacant, the team put out a contract offer to Rob Sims. When free agency first began in March, it looked like the Lions were more interested in adding Justin Blalock, but nothing ever came of that. (Blalock actually just retired on Monday.) As a result, they turned their attention back to Sims, but nothing ever came of that as well.
So, why exactly did Sims not re-sign with the Lions despite having a contract offer on the table? It sounds like the Lions offered him a minimum type of deal, and Sims was apparently looking for something a bit bigger than that from a salary standpoint. From the Detroit Free Press:
"Without throwing them under the bus, and I could, but when we got the offer, we didn't think, for the time we had put in, 80 straight games, 80 straight starts and some of the things we had played through, the offer was … something that we didn't deserve," Sims said. "It wasn't right for us. That's, basically, what it boils down to: It just wasn't right for us."
Sims actually spoke last June about wanting to finish his career with the Lions, and he admitted he wasn't "looking to hit a home run" with his next contract. However, he did say that he was looking for a deal that was "decent for the output I’ve put up on the field." Clearly whatever offer the Lions put forward to him this offseason didn't line up with his view of his output on the field, and the two sides were unable to come to an agreement as a result.
With Sims not re-signing, the Lions went on to draft offensive guard Laken Tomlinson in the first round, and they also acquired offensive guard/center Manny Ramirez in a draft-day trade. Barring an injury to one of those players, the door is probably closed on Sims returning to the Lions at this point, but he seems comfortable with his decision to not take Detroit's offer.
"That's the thing: I've had a great run. If it ends today, I feel like I have nothing left to prove. And if it ends today, I had a great ride, and my head is still going to be held high. I've done some great things in the game, but if it continues, we'll continue. But it's got to be under the right circumstances."
According to the Detroit Free Press, Sims has already entered the business world with a variety of projects, so if his career is indeed over, he seems well prepared for his post-playing days. If the right "circumstances" come along, though, it's possible that Sims will be back on the field this year to continue his NFL career.