Lions, Foote seem close to a deal

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
In other news, it appears Detroit has found its middle linebacker. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Lions are close to an agreement with local hero Larry Foote on a one-year contract.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports the deal is official.

Foote would give the Lions some veteran credibility at one of their weakest positions in 2008. Detroit gave up an NFL-high 172.1 rushing yards per game last season, and one of its top offseason priorities was to strengthen their interior defense.

It's been a short-term but necessary rebuild. Veteran Grady Jackson, 36, will man the nose tackle position. Foote, who will turn 29 next month, would take over for Paris Lenon at middle linebacker. Foote, Ernie Sims and newly-acquired Julian Peterson should give the Lions an improved linebacker corps.

Before Pittsburgh released Foote, the Lions were discussing the possibility of using rookie DeAndre Levy at the position. Even if Levy is the Lions' middle linebacker of the future, Foote's arrival would help ease his transition.