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.