sleeping on it

>> 4.23.2009

Okay, so, for those of you still bewildered by the flurry of conflicting stories last night (my poor BlackBerry needed an oil change and radiator flush this morning!), here's where we stand:

* Killer has reported that the Lions have already agreed to contract terms with Aaron Curry; all they need to do is tell him he's the pick and give him a pen.  The deal is expected to be very similar to the deal Jake Long got from Miami last year.

* PFT reported that the Lions have already given Condon/Stafford their best and final offer, and that it remains on the table until late Friday night.  Either Condon & Stafford elect to take the deal by Friday night, or the Lions will simply sign Curry.

* Killer today is reporting that Condon is essentially-- in violation of at least the spirit of NFL rules--shopping the Lions' best offer to the Rams, Chiefs, and Seahawks, to see if he can get more money for his client at a later pick, like Matt Ryan finagled last year from the Falcons at 1.3.  If so, Stafford will simply not sign the Lions' offer, and slide down.

* Dave Birkett, whose report that the Stafford deal was essentially done kicked off this whole mess, is now quoting a league source as saying the deal "has to happen", and Birkett agrees.

As for myself?  I think the Lions have created an outstanding situation for themselves; they now have Condon and Stafford over a barrel, where if they'd simply walked up to the podium and taken Stafford, they'd have no leverage whatsoever.  Of course, it's no secret that I desperately want the pick to be Curry--so if the Rams or Seahawks want to go ahead and top the Lions' offer, I have no problem with that whatsoever.  Also, if Condon wants to grandstand to the point where the Lions call his bluff, that's fine with me too.

Ultimately, though, the Lions will get the Stafford deal done.  Even though Peter King said on his Twitter feed that he's hearing the two sides aren't close at all, Yahoo! Sports said yesterday that Coach Schwartz has been Stafford's biggest cheerleader within the organization.  That's surprising, to say the least--but it confirms what I've said many times before: Mayhew will not take a quarterback just to sell jerseys, just to sell tickets, or just because Ford said so.  The only way Mayhew drafts Stafford is if Schwartz (and via deduction, Linehan) are one hundred percent convinced that Stafford is a franchise quarterback.

In this, we will have to trust the Lions' scouts, coaches, and leadership.  We'll simply have to.


Anonymous,  April 23, 2009 at 11:55 AM  

amen, brother ty. after reading that schwartz has been the driving force to get stafford here i had to take a few seconds and pick my jaw off the floor. i wonder what the gap is between wanting stafford and curry here is for schwartz though. i do know gym shorts was trained under some of the best eyes in the nfl and if he and linny believe that stafford is/can be an elite qb for us, i'm willing to give them the chance to prove it.

TimT,  April 23, 2009 at 12:14 PM  

I've seen that "Schwartz has been his biggest supporter" quote before. I think that's a grapevine incarnation of "sooner or later you have to replace Bobby Layne" and nothing more. The same with the quotes out there about Ford making the pick or that there are "two sides and the one that writes the checks is going to win" crap.

These boys have played this with a fantastic control on what leaks out. I dare say NOTHING has leaked, rather they've released what they've wanted to through pawns.

Calvins got a job,  April 23, 2009 at 12:26 PM  

I'm sick of reading about "Nearing a Deal" every hour there is breaking news about this deal... I'm a Curry supporter, but if Schwartz believes in him this much i'll drink the Koolaid...

Ty,  April 23, 2009 at 3:03 PM  

Honestly, and I'm getting to this in an upcoming post, I think there's one traditional franchise quarterback in this draft, and that's Stafford. Sanchez is a much more unknown quantity, and Freeman's a project. If the Lions pass on Curry, Maualuga will be 90% as good of an MLB for less than half the money at 1.20, and Laurenitis will be 65% as good for a small fraction of the money at 2.1 . . .


Ty,  April 23, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

"These boys have played this with a fantastic control on what leaks out. I dare say NOTHING has leaked, rather they've released what they've wanted to through pawns."


I believe you are absolutely, positively, 100% on the ball on this one. I'm astonished. Even PFT called their handling of this "masterful" . . . which, given Florio's inability to avoid taking every concievable potshot at the Loins, is really saying something.


Ty,  April 23, 2009 at 3:05 PM  

Calvins got a job --

Seriously! Let's get pen to paper so we can all move on with our lives . . .


NOTSINCE57,  April 23, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

I feel like Florio coming out and advocating Knowshon at #20 is proof that he (and the media at large)has absolutely no idea what the Lions are thinking. I love that. Win, lose or draw (and the results won't be in for 3+ years), at least the front office is finally acting like a real NFL front office.

Ty,  April 23, 2009 at 3:41 PM  


These days, Florio's basically pipelining everything Killer says right to PFT. The Moreno thing, I have no idea. I mean, I get "the Lions have so many needs that they can't pass on great talent". But, Moreno at 1.20 is not incredible value--that's right about as high as he should go. If they were picking in the middle of the second and he was still there, maybe . . .

I think Maualuga is a lock at 1.20 if Stafford agrees to terms. The Lions might even move up a bit to make sure he's not going anywhere else.


Anonymous,  April 23, 2009 at 5:27 PM  

I was against Stafford early in the draft process but he's definitely grown on me lately. He's improved his stats every year playing in the SEC which has the best college defenses in the country. His completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns and td/interception ratio have improved every year. His O-line was brutal this year due to injuries and youth. He's a great fit in Linnehans offense which emphasizes the vertical passing game. I also like the fact that he wants to be a Lion, is very smart, and doesn't have character question marks like Jamarcus Russel.

Plus, he's only a junior. At this time last year Curry and J. Smith were considered 2nd to 3rd round prospects. If we consider the improvements Stafford has made during his career, isn't it fairly safe to assume he'd progress more next year as a senior at Georgia? He should definitely spend the majority of the year on the bench (ala Carson Palmer), but I do think this the best pick to make for the long term future of the franchise. He's by no means a perfect prospect, but if the organization as a whole feels this strongly about him (something that didn't happen for Joey H) and they put him in the right environment to succeed I think he'll do well.

Draft Oher at 20 or pick one of the quality guards/centers that will be available for pick 33. The rest of the draft should be all defense.

NOTSINCE57,  April 23, 2009 at 6:32 PM  

If they go QB at 1 the next 4 picks should be on D. The D is a mess. Everyone agrees. They need to grab an MLB (they don't have one right now), DL and a safety or CB straight away. Ignoring D will keep them where they are.

Ty,  April 24, 2009 at 11:34 AM  


"His completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns and td/interception ratio have improved every year."

Yes . . . from not good to mediocre to pretty okay. His college production is still the biggest black mark--in fact, the ONLY black mark--on his resume, and even that is heavily padded with a lot of WR screens, bubble screens, and flares to the likes of KnowMo.

Frankly, three years as a starter gives you plenty of good tape to look at. I think we know what Stafford was at the college level; the question becomes, what will he be in the pros? One doesn't always translate into the other . . .


Ty,  April 24, 2009 at 11:39 AM  


I agree that the defense has to be a focus, but I think they should look hard at Cal's Alex Mack or Oregon's Max Unger with the 2.1. Either one would step in and start at left guard, and then be groomed as a quality backup center. If the first three picks are Stafford, Maualuga, and Mack, and then a DT like SenDerrick Marks and a CB/KR like a Macho Harris (who wouldn't fall that far but you take my point), I would have to call that a rousingly successful draft.


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