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.