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Mayhew: Orlovsky a backup

The Lions have exchanged contract proposals with quarterback Dan Orlvosky, but general manager Martin Mayhew admitted Friday he sees Orlovsky as a backup.

“I talked to Dan,” Mayhew said. “He's not under contract. We'll try to get him signed. He was the backup last year, he was the backup before that, he's been a backup his whole career. I don't think anybody would be surprised if I thought he was a backup.”

Orlvosky started seven games over two stints last year and was the Lions most effective quarterback. An unrestricted free agent, he said earlier this week he expected to test the market but hoped to return to the Lions with a chance to compete for the starting job.

“I told Dan when I talked to him, 'The best player will play,'” Mayhew said. “You come in here and you're the best player at quarterback that can help us win football games, you'll start. But he's been a backup his whole career and I'm not sure he'll go out in the market and he'll get starter money out there on the market.”

Asked why he didn't sweet-talk Orlovsky in order to guarantee he'd re-sign with the Lions, Mayhew said, “That's why we've been getting our butt kicked around here for eight years.”

“I just go straightforward with these guys,” he said. “If they don't want to know then they shouldn't ask me because I'm going to tell them how I see them. And a lot of them are dissatisfied with that, but that's how it's going to be.”

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