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Lions close to a deal with Stafford

The Lions are close to agreeing on a deal with Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford to be the No. 1 overall pick.

Lions president Tom Lewand met with owner William Clay Ford for final approval earlier today, and the two sides could finalize a contract as soon as today. One source said a “catastrophe” would have to happen for the Lions not to draft Stafford at this point.

Phone calls to Lewand, general manager Martin Mayhew and senior vice president of communications Bill Keenist were not immediately returned. Neither Stafford nor his agent Tom Condon returned phone calls, either.

The Lions have five of the first 82 picks in this weekend's draft, including two first-rounders. Stafford passed for 3,459 yards last year with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He likely will start next season behind Daunte Culpepper.

Update at 3:20 p.m.: Keenist finally texted me a back a few minutes ago saying my report is "untrue." But the Lions still haven't returned my calls and I don't know what exactly is being denied. Lewand and Ford did meet today and my sources say a deal is "really close." When I have more, I'll let you know.

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Blogger Ty said...

Excellent scoop, Dave.

With apologies to King Arthur (and God), may God have mercy on us all.


2:30 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I hope for the my sake and other fans sake that Stafford works out but my gut feeling is this is the same old Lions kind of move.

Just another QB who will be gone in 4-5 years.

Hope i'm wrong.

2:37 PM 
Anonymous Steve said...

Dave I hope you are wrong.

2:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's hope the Lions don't take Moreno with the 20th like ESPN's latest mock has them doing.
Built Ford Tough.
I can see the logic in the Stafford pick. I guess the plus is that we don't worry about a QB next year, even if the class is strong, we are a top 5 pick next year maybe with a better chance of trading down, or perhaps take BPA on a lineman or top LB.
I guess I'll be speculating next year at the same time, and not be worrying about which QB is worth the risk.
If we ride Daunte til the wheels fall off and the Lions are picking first again next year, is there anyone worth with taking with that pick? 80mil+ guaranteed for two players with zero NFL starts(assuming Stafford does not start this year) sounds risky.

2:42 PM 
Blogger spacecataz said...

HUGE scoop, Birk. Good job.

I really hope this works out, but I'm not terribly optimistic.

2:46 PM 
Blogger Big D said...

OK - that's done... we have the future (not too distant)leader of our offense... now, let's hope that Maulega (I know I mis-spelled it) falls to them on D..then we'll have the leader of our defense as well.... I would not think that they would take another offensive player with their 20th pick with all the serious holes in the D.... What are the chances Stafford gets to wear "7" ?

2:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm on board with Stafford at #1. He's ...
- Intelligent
- Leader
- Makes all the throws
- Calvin Johnson will make him better.

2:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've already been cited as source to this news break on PFT.

2:51 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and Killer shot you down already.
Keenist says "absolutely untrue"
the saga continues

2:56 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom on Mlive is saying this isnt a done deal your comments?

3:04 PM 
Anonymous Big Biting Pig said...

Man, this is the best place to come for Lions info.

Keep up the good work Dave!

3:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Birk I hope you have a different source then Draft Bible. That site is known for posting less then true items

4:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now steve wyche is jumping on dave's wagon:

i think a signing will come in a few hours or later tonight.

5:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read that Stafford had until Friday to sign the deal the Lions have offered otherwise they are taking Curry.

That's the right way to do it. Good job!

6:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good jason cole article:;_ylt=At9NZv7CwDEgZbBEigXv3LRDubYF?slug=jc-debateoverfirstpick042209&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

7:38 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. this is a shocker to me for some reason:

if schwartz is behind stafford, i'm cool with him being the pick.

10:55 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like it's Stafford or Curry.

I'm totally fine with either! WOO HOO!

12:30 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if they do sign Stafford this will prove some theories:

1. The entire front office got transfusions of Matt Millen's blood,

2. Mel Kiper Jr could be the Lions' GM, if he really wanted to,

3. By the end of the 09 season, Stafford will wonder if 70 million is really worth it,

4. By the end of the 09 season the fans will wonder if 70 million is really worth it,

5. At the end of Round 1 of the 09Draft the Lions likely will still have a hole to plug in the middle of their defense.

1:18 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does one of the other writers keeep denying your reports? You seem to be right on. Is it jealousy?
Thanks, and please reply.

8:01 AM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

Busy day yesterday. Sorry I didn't stop by to answer any questions.

First, I don't think any other writer is trying to shoot down my reports. In this business, we just repeat what we hear when we feel confident it's good information. Other reporters and I don't always hear the same things. I haven't confirmed Curry is the fallback plan, though I have no reason to doubt it. I did have two people tell me that Lewand and Ford talked yesterday and a team source said the deal was very close. I think there's a lot of negotiating going on right now.

I know there's a distaste for Stafford and I've written about varying opinions people have on him. But I will say, he's exactly the type of QB Schwartz, Linehan and Mayhew seem to like for their offense, and the biggest thing about succeeding in the NFL is putting your talent in the situation that suits it best. Only time will tell if the Lions are trying to hard with Stafford.

9:15 AM 

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