It was almost 3 months ago since I last posted a blog entry, mainly because I wanted no part in blogging the roller coaster ride known as the 2011 NFL CBA Negotiations (though it didn't stop me from posting it in my forum).
The CBA isn't quite done yet, or at least, neither side has ratified it yet, but that should be coming... perhaps yet this week (likely in fact).
From the sounds of it teams will have a 3 day period in order to re-sign their own free agents if they can. I fully expect the Lions to try and re-sign CB Houston, T Hilliard, DE McBride, OLB Carpenter, QB Stanton, and OLB Palmer among possibly others.
Free Agency is then going to start and the mad dash continues with all 32 teams trying to sign as many as 900 guys to their rosters while fitting under the new and as yet not understood salary cap, possibly even cutting some players to fit the new guys in thus adding to the available free agents.
Like I said in my May 2nd blog entry, the Lions are going to look for players that fit what they are doing and they are only going to sign a guy if they can get him for what they figure he is worth. Plus, the free agent has to be an upgrade (or a potential upgrade) to someone already on the roster. Believe me, the Lions had plenty of time to grade their own guys and all the potential free agents out there. They will provide as many roster spot training camp fights as they can to keep the pressure on everyone to give it their all.
So, the free agent player has to be an upgrade, for the right price, fit under the cap, and fit the scheme... plus Lewand and Mayhew will only have hours to complete the signing or risk losing the player to another team. Should be fun.
With that all said, here are some names and positions the Lions might (and I did just say MIGHT) be looking at...
At Outside Linebacker:
Rocky McIntosh, Redskins. Age: 28
James Anderson, Panthers. Age: 27
Justin Durant, Jaguars. Age: 25
and my looooong shot pick... MLB Stephen Tulloch, Titans. Age: 26 (moving Levy to OLB)
Johnathan Joseph, Bengals. Age: 27
Chris Carr, Ravens. Age: 28
Josh Wilson, Ravens. Age: 26
Richard Marshall, Panthers. Age: 26
Eric Wright, Browns. Age: 26
and my looooong shot pick... Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders. Age: 30
There could be a Safety brought in to compete, maybe a WR, possibly some OLine, but to tell you the truth the Lions are building through the draft so unless they are unable to re-sign some of their own guys I just don't see a lot of FAs being added, not starters anyway. I also don't see the Lions using up what CAP they have left (more on that next blog post) on only one or maybe two guys, hence my long shots above. By the way, the bold names above are my two picks... at this point in time... not counting camp fodder.
Let us not forget, there is an entire slate of UDFA (UnDrafted Free Agents) to pick from as well, I have my eye on a guard with the last name of Mims for the Lions along with some others.
Now that the wait is nearly over we can all take a deep breath and gear up for FA, FFL (if you play), UDFA, Summer Camp and the start of Pre-Season... and do it all in less then 2 weeks!!! Plus, I get to learn a whole new Salary Cap system too. Makes me wish I had got more sleep when I had the chance.