any questions?

>> 11.03.2009

We have more questions about this team than ever after this past week, so send them to me via email (, twitter (@lionsinwinter), or even Google Wave (also!  You can also just reply to this thread. I'll do my dead-level best to get to the heart of the matter, and you'll see your name in lights here shortly.

By the way, season-ticket holders out there, use the following info to contact me about a cool potential opportunity . . .


Neil,  November 3, 2009 at 8:44 PM  

Ty, how long can I cry before I dehydrate myself?

SomeChoi,  November 4, 2009 at 8:36 PM  

How do you get the energy to keep writing?
And now a more serious question, what precedent is there to expect Stafford's accuracy to improve? If missing too many wide-open receivers was his problem in college, can we really expect this to be a correctable problem?

Anonymous,  November 5, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

I'm not sure what kind of cap guy you are, but here goes my question anyway. Why is it that Killer and others always say that the Lions can't afford another high draft pick because they already have Calvin and Stafford with big contracts? There are a lot of teams that have far more large contracts than that. Both Calvin and Stafford are the 2 largest building blocks for the team, so it should make sense that they are the large contracts on the team. The Lions can't afford a poor 1st round draft choice whether it's first overall or 20th this year, so I don't really see where the money comes in. If the Lions are picking in the top 3, and they get a chance to sign a dominant defensive lineman, is that really a bad thing?

Matt,  November 5, 2009 at 1:55 PM  

Lopper, that's a good question and got me to thinking. I've heard similar things and they don't make sense to me either. Certainly the Lions have faced some cap penalties from cutting/trading some top draft picks, but those should pretty much be off the books in 2010. At that point, off the top of my head, their "big contracts" should be: Stafford, Johnson, Pettigrew, Backus, Raiola, Cherilus and Sims. Maybe Foote, Peterson, and Jansen, too (not sure what we're paying those guys), and Hanson (relatively speaking, for a kicker). None of those guys will be re-upping for big money in the next few seasons. Even adding in another high first-rounder's contract, that doesn't seem like much of a cap problem.

Compare it to the Vikings, who are paying these guys: Favre, Peterson, Berrian, Harvin, McKinnie, Hutchinson, Allen, K. Williams, P. Williams, Greenway, and Winfield. Also making good money are Kleinsasser, Shiancoe, Taylor, M. Williams, Henderson, Leber, and Longwell/Kluwe (relatively for K/P).

Now, obviously the Vikings aren't going to be adding a Top 5 pick to the payroll in 2010 like the Lions are and they probably won't be paying Favre for a 20th season. However, looking at this very simplistic analysis/comparison, I don't see how the Lions are suddenly going to be in cap trouble in 2010 or 2011 because they have some high draft picks on their payroll. Many other teams, the Vikings for example, are able to pay both top picks AND established studs without much trouble.

I think maybe the concerns are that if the Lions MISS on another top pick (and therefore are paying a bunch of money for little production), then THAT could cause some trouble because you've gotta' go out and sign guys to make up for the production. Again, though, I don't see how drafting a Top 5 DT hurts them cap-wise anymore than signing a top free agent DT would (neither would). Of course, everything cap/payroll-wise in the NFL depends on what happens with the CBA.

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