Monday, March 19, 2012
Lions tight but not idle in free agency
By Kevin Seifert
The Detroit Lions have a well-documented shortage of salary-cap space, relegating them to secondary players on the free-agent market. But there's a difference between sitting out the first wave of free agency and being inactive.
By my count, the Lions have hosted five veteran free agents on visits to their practice facility. They have a sixth visit scheduled and two others were canceled when the players signed elsewhere first.
Linebacker/special teams ace Tim Shaw was the latest to visit Monday. He joined a list that also includes cornerback Jacob Lacey, offensive lineman Marcus McNeill, receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz. Of that list, the only player we can rule out for a future signing is McNeill, who was likely a backup plan had the Lions not re-signed Jeff Backus.
Safety O.J. Atogwe is scheduled to visit later this week, according to the team's web site. Safety LaRon Landry and offensive lineman Eric Winston were also scheduled visits before signing with the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively.
Based on this list, it's safe to assume the Lions are looking for reasonable ways to upgrade their safety position as well as their offensive line depth. It's also easy to imagine Ginn providing an upgrade as a returner over Stefan Logan. Stay tuned.