GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY! Detroit Lions: Dirty Tamperers

>> 2.18.2011

I totally found and read this Doonesbury book when I was a kid.

With the news that the Lions had been found guilty of tampering, forfeiting one draft pick and swapping places with another, every Lions fan is either seething with the injustice of it all, grieving for the loss of the a draft pick, or joyous over having some real live actual Lions news to talk about. Well, every Lions fan but me. I’m more like “Meh.”

Of course, I’m bummed that the league chose to find the Lions guilty of tampering with Jarrad Page, a player the Chiefs didn’t want but were too greedy to let walk. Of course, I’m disappointed that the Lions are going to lose a draft pick. But I wouldn’t be much of a Flamekeeper if I didn’t look at the bright side . . .

Of course, Martin Mayhew is no Richard Nixon; he is not going to resign in the face of this embarrassment. In fact, if you think about it, this isn’t much punishment at all. Here are the Lions’ seventh-rounders over the last two seasons: Tim Toone, Lydon Murtha, and Willie Young. None made the opening 53-man roster their rookie year. Stefan Logan has made Toone’s quest for a spot this year all but futile. Murtha is long gone, signed by the Dolphins off the Lions’ practice squad. Young, despite his pedigree as the son of a panther god, has barely played [Ed.: Link not for the faint of language].

All of that happened while the Lions churned, literally, hundreds of players on and off the roster, desperate for usable talent. This offseason, the Lions’ roster is going to be deeper than it’s been since Millen. The odds that anyone drafted in the seventh round will make the squad are miniscule. It sucks that the Lions have been slapped on the wrist, but they’ve only slapped on the wrist.

In fact, by signing free agent safety Erik Coleman, the Lions have already added a player more likely to make an impact than the seventh-rounder they lost. Coleman is a more physically talented player, and a more skilled coverage guy, than the man he replaces (C.C. Brown). I’d imagine he’ll compete with Spievey throughout the offseason for the spot next to Delmas—and might back up both spots, if he’s not starting. Coleman was solid, if not spectacular, for the Falcons in recent seasons (I had him in my IDP dynasty league, so I was watching).

I know, I know, the Lions hardly have a competitive advantage, and any talent acquisition handicap seems terribly unfair. But in the grand scheme of things, Gunther’s loose lips hardly sank the ship.


7 comments:

Neil February 18, 2011 at 4:50 PM  

"Young, despite his pedigree as the son of a panther god, has barely played [Ed.: Link not for the faint of language]."

Or the sane of mind.

T in AZ,  February 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM  

The biggest problem I see arising out of this is that we lose a bargaining chip for Mayhew. In the last two off-seasons he has shown considerable skill in using these 7th rounders as pot sweeteners to pull off otherwise lopsided trades. If we do appeal, I hope we can at least get back to our original number of draft picks even if they are in different locations.

Hope that Mr. Young sees some playing time next year. If everything Neil wrote is true... he should be very dangerous.

NorthLeft12 February 19, 2011 at 5:52 PM  

About Erik Coleman....if he is starting at a Safety spot in 2011, the Lions are in big trouble. The Falcons dumped him in 2010 for a guy who was one of the lowest rated safeties according to ProFootballFocus [42nd out of 50 Safeties who played more than 60% of their team's defensive snaps] in the league. While still going 13 and 3 and improving their pass defence ranking from 28th to 22nd in yardage, and from 22nd to 14th in QB rating.

I think the Lions picked up CC Brown II. Coleman's strength is run defence and tackling, not coverage.

A Ty in WI,  February 21, 2011 at 2:34 PM  

spambot? I won't even click the link it's so vague. What do you think will or should happen with Chris Houston? He is potentially a RFA, correct?

Anonymous,  February 21, 2011 at 9:52 PM  

Follett was a seventh round pick.

Matt,  February 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM  

I'm certainly not happy that the Lions got caught tampering, but the whole situation is almost a joke to me. First of all, if I were the Lions, I would have willingly sacrificed a 7th-round pick and swapped 5th-rounders UP FRONT just for the opportunity to talk to Page (that's a fraction of the value of, for example, the $180 gazillion the Red Sox paid to talk to Daisuke). He was a potential difference-maker on defense and I'm glad the Lions used every resource at their disposal, legal and not-so-legal, to try to acquire him. Instead he ended up in New England, where I'm sure The Hoodie & Crew were 100% above-board in their pursuit of him (certainly wouldn't have anything to do with the Chief's GM being the former Pat's GM, would it?). Page only played in 10 games for New England, starting one, but still managed a couple tips and a couple INTs. Woulda' been nice to have in Detroit, as this is only 2 fewers tips and 1 fewer INT than all of the Lions' non-CB defensive backs had combined in 2010.

I agree with T in AZ that the only way this penalty really hurts the Lions is by inhibiting Mayhew's wheeling-and-dealing, but only slightly. As for missing out on an actual player, who cares? Late round picks very, very, very, very rarely pan out at all (league-wide, not just with the Lions). If you happen to find a good special teams player like Follett (since that's all he's proven to be at this point), you did good. If you find a Marques Colston or James Harrison, you got insanely lucky and not because of superior scouting. If you find a Tom Brady, you must have saved a school bus full of drowning orphans in a past-life.

Bottomline: having even the chance of landing Page last season has/had more value, IMHO, than does the 7th-round pick the Lions will cut in pre-season in 2011.

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