Saturday, December 22, 2007

2008 Roster / Depth Chart

I have created a 2008 Roster / Depth Chart based on the current 2007 one. Names in red are free agents, names in blue are restricted free agents and would need to be tendered an offer, and guys in black are already signed for 2008. The blank yellow boxes are the "holes" that need to be filled, preferably in free agency (I prefer to use the draft for depth and for competition to the guys already on the roster... let them win the job and the whole team is better for it). ( a link to which can be found at )

DE being the number one need. Backup DT (to rotate in) being important as well. MLB and SSLB and RCB all should be found in free agency, the current roster doesn't contain anyone I would wish to start in 2008 at those positions.

I truly hope that Woody gets re-signed to play RT. He is better at it with no training camp and little practice then anyone the Lions have had playing there in at least a decade, longer actually.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Couple thoughts... on 2007 and 2008

First, the Lions are not winning or losing the games I expected them to, and at this point in time I had them at 7-4, losing the next 3, and winning only one more. Instead, they are 6-5, and can potentially win more then 2 more and make the playoffs. It won't be easy, but they have lost some games this year they could have won with better play from various members of the team.

Having said that, my first thoughts of the coming off season are like this:

In free agency look to retain some of the current depth who will hit free agency without new contracts, and also look around the league for a starting cornerback, a starting linebacker, and a starting right tackle. It is unlikely they will be able to do this all in one year, but it sure would take care of some "holes".

After that, go into the draft trading and targeting players to take the job of starting DE (bye-bye Kalimba Edwards), potentially (as in eventually) starting linebackers, O-Tackle (bye-bye Backus), Center (bye-bye Raoila), and cornerback.

That'll leave a few picks to locate an honest to goodness speedy, dependable, return man.

Now, this is all going to change as things progress of course, but this is my preliminary line of thinking on the 1st of December 2007.

Oh, and why am I thinking that the only two reliable players on the O-Line need to be replaced? Because the O-Line has stunk for all 7 Millen years and there are only two constants ... Backus and Raoila. Mulitalo is doing very well, so neither can use the excuse that the LG needed help.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Forgot to post my Win / Loss Prediction online (game by game)

Sunday, September 9 at Oakland Raiders FOX 4:15 p.m. Win

Sunday, September 16 MINNESOTA VIKINGS FOX 4:05 p.m. Win

Sunday, September 23 at Philadelphia Eagles FOX 1:00 p.m. Lose

Sunday, September 30 CHICAGO BEARS FOX 1:00 p.m. Lose

Sunday, October 7 at Washington Redskins FOX 1:00 p.m. Win

Sunday, October 14 *** BYE WEEK ***

Sunday, October 21 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS FOX 1:00 p.m Win.

Sunday, October 28 at Chicago Bears FOX 1:00 p.m. Lose

Sunday, November 4 DENVER BRONCOS CBS 1:00 p.m. Lose

Sunday, November 11 at Arizona Cardinals FOX 4:15 p.m. Win

Sunday, November 18 NEW YORK GIANTS FOX 4:15 p.m.* Win

Thursday, November 22 GREEN BAY PACKERS FOX # 12:30 p.m. Win

Sunday, December 2 at Minnesota Vikings FOX 1:00 p.m.* Lose

Sunday, December 9 DALLAS COWBOYS FOX 1:00 p.m.* Lose

Sunday, December 16 at San Diego Chargers FOX 4:15 p.m.* Lose

Sunday, December 23 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS CBS 1:00 p.m.* Win

Sunday, December 30 at Green Bay Packers FOX 1:00 p.m.* Lose

Total = 8-8

(hopefully I'm being conservative)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Updated Estimated Roster and 2007 Cap Charts are Online

Since Eric Beverly decided to retire, and then Robinson ended up on IR and lost for the season, then Bryson and Swancut got cut... well... I had to make some changes.

Go to for more information.

In addition to the updated 2007 Salary Cap Chart, I've added two new links in the salary cap section, one is a link directly to the actual xls file that I use to make the Salary Cap Web Page... and the other is to another excel spreadsheet that contains Salary Cap History, everything from 2000 to 2006. The figures were obtained from USA Today, then sorted by myself into it's current format, I then added things like percentage of total cap per player, dead cap hits, available cap, year the most recent contract was signed, how many years the most contract is for, how the player was originally acquired, and some other notes and items.

My updated estimated 53 man roster also contains salary cap information, and if my roster were correct, the Lions would have $10 million in cap available at the beginning of the season. I am curious to find out what they plan to do with it, sign someone new or maybe extend a contract or two. Perhaps they plan to rewrite a contract or two with Likely to be Earned Bonuses (that really aren't all that likely), allowing the greater share of that amount to be carried into next year should the player not actually earn the bonuses.

One final note: CJ is the only draft pick that hasn't signed. He seems to be content allowing his agent to handle the negotiations regardless of how long it takes. That may be a mistake, an agent will wait a long time for every nickle he can get, at some point CJ will need to simply tell his agent to get the deal done, now.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fantasy Football League (paid league).

I think I'll take the plunge this year and compete in a paid league. I've added a link to the site that I want to use, now I just need some competition. Go to my web page and look about a third of the way down for the Fantasy Football League paragraph... and if you are interested let me know, I'll keep a list of people to contact at the appropriate time... the link will be on my site as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

One change on May 20th to the estimated roster

Now that Eric Beverly has been signed I had to make a correction to my estimated roster for 2007. I also added a column of alternate choices... these are players that "could" make the team IF they outplay the player I have figured as being on the roster to their immediate left. That'll make more sense if you visit the roster page.

Friday, May 4, 2007

My May 4th estimate of the 2007 Lions roster.

Please visit this site to view it, the blog won't hold the columnar format.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Good Cap News

I received new information today concerning all the draft picks contracts from last year (2006 draft). It contained detailed info on signing bonuses, workout bonuses and salaries. Most of my information was fairly close except for one item I was unaware of. Earnie Sims apparently met some kind of escalator clause and received his 2nd signing bonus payment ($8 million) and that lowered his annual salaries for the duration of the contract. Based on this new information, I recalculated the cap hit for Sims (and the rest of the draft class of 2005) and it increased available cap space in 2007 by $2 million.

See my web page for more information

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Draft 2007 Reaction

Facts, thoughts and opinion..

A lot of things happened this past 2007 draft weekend. Some good, some interesting, some bad, and some confusing (to me at least). Let’s see if I can organize and state it all in one post.

Good: Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli (and Tom Lewand) have managed to trim all the "fat" from the roster. Guys who complained, wouldn’t try, weren’t working out and so on, have all found themselves elsewhere. The Lions acquired some new players, some draft picks, or just an empty locker in doing so. Total dead cap hit in 2007 for the entire bus ticket? $15,336,667 by my calculations. And no dead cap (so far) at all in 2008.

Good: Matt Millen manipulated the draft well, making trades down and up to end up with three 2nd round picks while keeping the team at the #2 slot in the first round and retaining a number of picks for day 2. No picks were taken away from 2008, and Mike Williams was traded to Oakland for the 105th pick (along with McCown, but then the trade couldn’t happen without McCown because they needed the savings in the cap by trading him to get rid of Williams, also because they needed to when McCown decided he didn’t want to be a lion no more, and because Oakland wasn’t going to give up a 4th for Mike Williams by himself). With the 105th pick Millen took AJ Davis, a CB from North Carolina State. Hopefully, AJ will prove worthy of the fact the lions lost their backup QB and $2.2 million in cap in the trade. I haven’t much faith in that exactly, but the other moves to get three 2nd round picks were terrific.

Great: Matt Millen didn’t get very many calls on trading out of the #2 pick (reportedly). He did get some, but the demand wasn’t such that one team could be played off the other and drive the price up. The final decision came down to taking the best player (not just the best offensive player, or the best wide receiver) in the draft or trading the pick for less then a blockbuster deal. Since no team made an offer they couldn’t refuse, and since there was a chance of making a deal a few picks later (which was an option since the presser was held off "conveniently" for about an hour) they selected Calvin Johnson, a man of such talent he’s been called a once in ten year player. The hoped for deal still never happened, but the Lions got what should be a genuine superstar wide receiver to bookend Roy Williams potentially making the Lions offense more potent then the superbowl Rams of a few years ago (in time, not from the very first game). I would’ve like to see a trade to address serious needs in the defense, but that was not meant to be.

Bad: Even though the Lions got rid of (hopefully) all the dead wood on the roster, the moves have reduced their available cap to a mere $653,831 (based on my calculations). They will still need to set aside a rookie draft pool of approximately $5 million, and they have need of at least one more free agent player, probably more.

Good or is it Bad: To get more cap space a few moves can be made such as:
Damien Woody is scheduled to make $4.5 million in salary this year. He is signed through the 2010 season. Should he be cut before June 1st (or traded at any time this year) the cap savings would be exactly zero (the accelerated signing bonus would wipe out the salary savings). If he were cut AFTER June 1st then $3 million in dead cap would be moved into next year and that much would be freed up in 2007. However, the Lions could keep Woody and just re-work his contract, turning $3.6 million of his salary into a signing bonus. He would receive the same compensation (though many would say he needs a pay cut) and it would free up $2.4 million in cap space in 2007 while keeping a former pro-bowler for depth on the O-Line, a mere $600,000 to keep him? I would do it.

The Lions could also cut or trade George Foster who’s salary for 2007 is $2.335 million. Since the Lions just acquired him in the trade with Denver I seriously doubt they wish to do that, so to re-work his contract they could turn $1.6 million of his salary in 2007 into a 2 year signing bonus and create $800,000 in cap space in 2007.

Corey Redding counts $6.775 million against the cap since he has the franchise tag on him. Should both sides be able to come to terms on a long term contract, it could conceivably free up around $4 million of cap space in 2007.

The only other significant cap savings are not so likely. Most wouldn’t free up much space, and others remove too much depth. Had a genuine starting Cornerback been acquired then Fernando Bryant could’ve been a Post June 1st cut saving $3.25 million in cap this year (but it would create dead cap next year of $3.5 million).

In summary, new contracts for Woody, Foster and Redding frees up $7.2 million in cap space, enough to sign the draft picks and maybe one or two vet minimum contracts (while still maintaining some reserve for the season in case of IR cases). Not a great situation, but manageable… however, the roster is pretty much set as is.

Bad or just confusing: In my opinion, the draft picks did not make a ton of sense. The Lions must know their cap situation. They must know they have needs on defense, including holes in the starting positions at DE, MLB and possibly CB (and many would say Safety as well). Yet they consciously choose to go offense with the first two picks. I can understand drafting CJ (as explained above, though many others would say we already had a #1 WR and we only really needed a slot WR as Furry is fine at #2). But drafting a QB who will not help the team one single bit at all in all of 2007 was a luxury that I don’t agree with. Sure you need someone to groom, but there is someone available every year that fits that description. What was critical was defensive help. The moves to have two more second round picks were good, and they were actually used on defense… the players themselves have potential as well… they are great 3rd or 4th round picks (based on how soon they may be able to start)… but that wasn’t what the team needed either. They needed starters. In all the draft there wasn’t a single starting defensive player available at pick #34, 43 or any other? I fail to believe that.

Intriguing: The actual players selected are each full of potential. Ikaika may turn out to be my favorite (after CJ of course). And Manuel Ramirez as a guard in a couple years. Alexander, to me, was a reach and I hope he proves me wrong.. I also hope he can start sometime in 2007. Stanton will hold a clipboard in 2007, a total waste of that pick (and I always root for MSU in their games I watch). Davis and Robinson, the two corners taken, will have to fight to even make the roster. I don’t think Johnny Baldwin is the answer to our prayers at MLB. Overall, intriguing players all, but only one 2nd rounder (go Icky). My draft grade is a solid C- but I’ll give extra credit points later if some of these picks actually can contribute in 2007.

Confusing: Did the Lions make these moves for the good of the team? Because they’re not afraid of being fired with yet another bad season? Or are they deluded to the point of thinking the roster looks good? Are they throwing the season away in April? Am I the crazy one and wrong about these prospects and the moves made? I hope so, but I’m not looking forward to the 2007 season as much as I normally would be. Also, I really don’t think that Millen can survive another sub .500 season, and once Millen goes a new CEO/GM will clean house... including the coaching staffs… and yet another rebuild will begin. That prospect is very VERY rough to take right now, for whatever reason.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pre-Draft opinions

Okay, my FA post was a little better then my coaching post. Now for the draft.

I truly don't believe the Lions want any of the "Fab 5" players (Russell, Quinn, Peterson, CJ or Thomas). If they are stuck at #2 they may consider Thomas, CJ or Russell - in that order - but I think in the end they would just nab the guy they are trageting if they trade down, and that is Gaines Adams.

I expect they will listen to many offers, and then take the Tampa offer, even if it's no the best one, simply because they don't want to miss out on drafting Adams.

I foresee DE, MLB and DB as first day picks. All the mocks have the Lions taking a QB at some point the first day, but I don't see that happening UNLESS they do trade McCown away... and even then I'm thinking they'll wait until day two, they seem to trust Orlovsky in the backup role... as he nearly won that job last year in training camp.

I expect the Lions to move around using those 5th round picks as ammo. Targeting players that may or may not make it to their next draft spot. So while they are still drafting BPA, I expect them to actually target for need and make moves to match.

My pure draft guess comes to this then: DE, DB, MLB, DB, OT, and a DT

Yep, only one offensive player and 5 defense (after trades).

Now to wait 10 more days and see how it actually plays out.

Monday, February 19, 2007

My expected off season moves.

Now that Furrey has been signed to a long term contract, I suspect the Lions will try to lock up Redding long term as well. Thing is, they're running out of time so I expect he will receive the Franchise tag keeping him from going into Free Agency and heading to another team (unless a team is willing to give up two first round picks to sign him anyway).

When FA starts, I expect to see the Lions go all out to land two guys. Curtis, the WR from the Rams, and London Fletcher, a MLB. After that I expect there won't be much activity until they can get a few more guys for decent money... such as Simeon Rice if he's released, and a RB just in case KJ isn't going to be ready for training camp.

The Draft should, if my hunches are correct, land the Lions a high quality DE. The rest of the draft should net another starter or two... but will it be Oline or other defensive players? I'm not sure yet in what order, but I suspect both will be addressed in this draft.

To summarize, my mid-February picks are:
Franchise tag on Redding.
Curtis in FA.
Fletcher in FA.
DE in the first round of the Draft.

I'll make more predictions later, when more information becomes available to make a half-way educated guess.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Got that one wrong

Yeah, Millen and Marinelli stayed, and so far so has Martz. I just didn't see Henderson getting fired for the son-in-law (figured he end up the d-line coach). I do not like the fact that Breightol was canned, if it was indeed because of Martz.... well, Martz may only be here one more year, our OLine coach was good enough to stay longer then that. Never saw Preifer retiring either. I guess that makes my prediction about half right. (sigh)

Now we'll see what happens from here. Many think the Lions will draft a QB in the 1st round. I have to think that will not be so. Neither Millen nor Marinelli can withstand another 3-13 season, they need help NOW. Plus, if they don't create a winning season, the next coaching staff will have their own ideas on who should be QB, so drafting one in 2007 seems wrong in every way to me. A MLB or DE is the way to go, I'm sure of it, at least, in January I'm sure of it.