Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sheppard offers Lions safer option
By Kevin Seifert
Detroit's decision to revamp its secondary has led it to invite free agent Lito Sheppard for a two-day visit beginning Wednesday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Sheppard's stock fell in 2009 during his first season with the New York Jets, but the Lions offer a wide-open opportunity to resurrect his career. They're likely to have three new starters around safety Louis Delmas after releasing cornerback Phillip Buchanon and, to this point, failing to re-sign starting cornerback Will James.
Veteran Chris Houston, acquired last month from Atlanta, is a likely starter at one cornerback position but there are no obvious candidates for the second role. Veteran Dante Wesley, signed earlier this month, was more of a special-teams addition.
Sheppard played in 11 games last season after Philadelphia traded him to the Jets, finishing with one interception and eight deflections on the NFL's top-rated defense. But the Jets released him rather than pay a $10 million roster bonus and replaced him by acquiring Antonio Cromartie from San Diego.
Sheppard turned 29 last week and should still have several productive years left. He doesn't have the upside of another cornerback the Lions have evaluated, veteran Adam "Pacman" Jones, but he is certainly a safer option.