Haynesworth a target in free agency?
I've blogged before about a couple ex-Titans (safety Vincent Fuller and cornerback Chris Carr) and one ex-Jaguar (linebacker Mike Peterson) who I think would make sense for the Lions in free agency.
Fuller wants to be a starting free safety in the NFL and has a good relationship with new Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The Lions, meanwhile, need a starter to pair with Daniel Bullocks in the secondary. At cornerback, I don't expect Carr would start, but he's a rotational guy who has excellent value as a return man. Peterson should be an option at middle linebacker, one of the thinnest positions in this year's draft, only if new personnel man Shack Harris is convinced he's not a locker-room cancer. Harris should know. He, too, is an ex-Jaguar.
(As a side note, Peterson's agent Tom Condon also represents potential No. 1 pick Matt Stafford. Not that NFL teams would ever tamper would another team's free agent, but I'd bet Martin Mayhew and/or Tom Lewand has been in touch with Condon this offseason maybe even this weekend and probably know the sort of deal Peterson desires.)
Schwartz wasn't asked specifically about any of those players Thursday he couldn't comment even if he was but he did talk in general about potentially signing some ex-Titans this offseason.
I think that's part of the thing when new staffs take over they all bring insider information so to speak from whatever team they were at, Schwartz said. We have guys on our staff from Kansas City, from St. Louis, from Tennessee, Tampa Bay, a lot of different staffs. So yeah, it won't just be us. You're going to use every bit of information that you can and knowing those guys that does give us a little bit of an advantage.
The logical next question, of course, is what does that mean for the Lions and Tennessee defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who said he'll test free agency and wants to be the highest-paid defensive player in the league. I still don't think the Lions will take part in the Haynesworth sweepstakes, a belief that was reinforced at the NFL combine Thursday when Schwartz referenced his early days in Tennessee and how the Titans stocked up on middle-class free agents. But Schwartz did have good things to say about Haynesworth, including that he (hypothetically) should get the massive contract that he seeks.
"When you talk about high-priced players anywhere you talk about people that can impact the game, not just maybe from a fan standpoint but from coaching, from a scheme standpoint," Schwartz said. "Left tackles get paid a lot of money, not because it looks real pretty on TV and the media but because what that does for an offensive coordinator and his protections and things like that. So you got to talk about ability to impact a game. Corners that can shut down somebody. Pass rushers that can win one-on-ones. Those guys impact the game. A running back that can run against an eight-man front. They impact the game. Quarterbacks we didn't even get into, but quarterbacks impact a game.
"So yeah, hypothetically, if there was a defensive tackle that dominates the game, there's no reason that he wouldn't be the highest-paid player."