Friday, February 20, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Stafford, Lions meet
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
INDIANAPOLIS -- Take this for all that it's worth: On the first full day of the 2009 scouting combine, five of Detroit's key decision-makers went to dinner with Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford. The two-hour affair at a local steakhouse included:
- General manager Martin Mayhew
- President Tom Lewand
- Senior personnel executive James "Shack" Harris
- Coach Jim Schwartz
- Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan
Check out reports from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press, John Niyo of the Detroit News and David Birkett of the Oakland Press.
Stafford entered the combine as the consensus top pick of the draft, and the Lions are evaluating whether to take him, go the safer route with an offensive tackle or trade out of the position.
Stafford is scheduled to speak with reporters here at the combine on Friday. We'll bring you his thoughts as soon as we can.
For now, let's take a romp through the rest of the division:
- Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com reports the Lions will release or trade quarterback Jon Kitna before he is due a $1 million roster bonus next month. Schwartz was vague on the issue Thursday.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that it's possible the Bears could draft an offensive lineman with left tackle traits to play on the right side.
- Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald looks at the top tackles in the draft: Alabama's Andre Smith, Baylor's Jason Smith, Ole Miss' Michael Oher and Virginia's Eugene Monroe.
- Schwartz and Pittsburgh director of football operations Kevin Colbert both noted the difficulty of making the kind of switch to a 3-4 defense that Green Bay is planning. Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal has details.
- Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf loves to spend money in free agency, but there might not be enough targets available for his cash, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
- Former Vikings fullback Thomas Tapeh is likely to work out with Seattle next month, according to Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.