Combine rumor mill
With so many NFL people coaches, agents and front-office types floating around Indianapolis this week, you don't have to try hard to hear rumors floating around. Here's a couple Lions-related ones that caught my ear this evening:
The Lions will not draft Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford with the No. 1 pick. The consensus of people I've talked to here during the combine, before workouts and evaluations are complete, is that Stafford is a toolsy quarterback but not worthy of the No. 1 pick. Beyond that, it's not just rhetoric that the Lions intend to build through the trenches and want to make over their defense.
That doesn't mean the Lions are happy or even fine with their current quarterback mix. While people debate the merits of Daunte Culpepper under center, the consensus is they need to find and develop a young signal caller beyond Drew Stanton (and that Mark Sanchez might be there at No. 20).
After listening to general manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz extol the virtues of prudent free-agent spending, I'm convinced the Lions won't be players in the Albert Haynesworth sweepstakes. Others in the league are not. Beyond just connecting the Schwartz-Haynesworth dots, they point to the Lions' abundance of cap space, their pressing need at defensive tackle, Haynesworth's ability to mask some of the Detroit's other defensive deficiencies and the help he'd provide any rookie they draft and start at linebacker.
No one said expressly that the Lions will sign Haynesworth, just not to rule them out of the mix. One person also said the Lions or whoever ends up with the defensive tackle should prepare themselves for his production to fall off a cliff.