Black and Blue all over: The Smith-Martin swap
September, 7, 2009
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
One item escaped us of full discussion during the weekend flurry of roster moves: Green Bay’s decision to release safety Anthony Smith, one of its two free-agent acquisitions this winter. (Smith was claimed on waivers by St. Louis, the team with No. 2 priority in the waiver system.)
General manager Ted Thompson said the Packers decided they wanted more of a swing player who could move between safety and cornerback. As a result, they traded for Baltimore defensive back Derrick Martin.
Thompson: “It was just a thing, we had an opportunity to get a player from Baltimore that kind of fit what we were looking for. A little bit of a corner, a little bit of a safety, special teams. It just came down to that.”Martin has a bit of a checkered past; in 2008, he was arrested at a security checkpoint in Cleveland on suspicion of marijuana possession. The charges were later dropped, but he served a one-game NFL suspension.
Martin told Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette that he has “never failed a drug test.” He hopes to get up to speed quickly in the Packers’ scheme and perhaps serve as the dime back in their defense.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiles tailback Ryan Grant, who ran stadium steps in the offseason to improve his burst at the line of scrimmage.
- Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher insists he is happy to turn the team spotlight over to quarterback Jay Cutler, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
- Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times profiles rookie Bears defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert, who still can’t believe how much attention his pool video has drawn.
- John Niyo of the Detroit News breaks down the Lions roster.
- If Daniel Loper becomes the Lions’ starting left guard, he’ll be the 14th different player to start a game at that position since left tackle Jeff Backus began starting in 2001. Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com breaks down the situation.
- Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune talks to former Minnesota defensive lineman Jim Marshall about the possibility of quarterback Brett Favre overtaking his consecutive games played mark of 283.
- Former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton says Favre or no Favre, the Vikings have one of the NFL’s deepest teams. Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has the interview.