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More thoughts from Mayhew; Foote's a free agent

We should find out soon how much interest the Lions have in Detroit native Larry Foote, who was cut by the Steelers Monday.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew couldn't talk specifically about Foote when he met with beat reporters after rookie orientation Sunday, but he was asked if he'd be interested in adding a Foote-type linebacker to the middle of his defense.

“Anytime there's a good player out there who can help us win football games, we're going to do all the research that we have to do and do everything we can to investigate that player and we're going to place a value on that player and we'll pursue that player until it gets to the point where the cost to get that player exceeds that value that we placed on him,” Mayhew said.

I don't know what value the Lions have placed on Foote, who'd have to transition to a 4-3 defense but is more accomplished and presently better than any middle linebacker currently on the roster, but it's clear Mayhew is not done working on his team. He said several veterans will be in for workouts this week, roster tweaking could go on for months, and the team clearly is interested in defensive end Kevin Carter (though Carter isn't likely to sign and go through workouts anytime soon).

“There's no finish line in May,” Mayhew said. “We have a lot of work to do in terms of getting the right players and the best players before the opener. Early on we said after free agency we'll still have holes, after the draft we'll still have holes, and we do. We still have holes, we still have things we have to get taken care of.”

A few other leftover thoughts from Mayhew's sitdown Sunday:

• Mayhew said it won't be a problem trying to land a veteran quarterback to back up Daunte Culpepper and Matthew Stafford if that's the direction they choose. “Job, no job,” he said. Among the free agents still on the market are Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte and Trent Green, who played for Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan in St. Louis last year.

• The Lions have two vacancies on the management side they expect to fill in the coming days. Mayhew said he plans to hire a west-coast scout and a pro personnel assistant. Of the pending geographical realignment of the scouting staff, Mayhew said all regional talent evaluators will now live where they work. “We really kind of got, over the years, out of our areas where we had guys scouting areas that they don't live in. So what we're going to do is kind of realign that and get guys back in the areas that they scout. It helps you with the contacts and the background information, it helps guys get familiar with the schools and develop relationships, that kind of thing.”

• Of safety Louis Delmas' strong camp: “Delmas did some good things in practice, and likewise did some bad things. He got punked out on a Cover 2, got beat up the sideline (Saturday). But you saw him make two really big splash plays on the interceptions the last couple practices. He's got a lot of ability, but again he's a young guy who has a long way to go.”

• On the draft as a whole: “I thought the process was a good process. I thought when we were on the clock we had a good discussion about the players who were available and I thought we made good decisions for the franchise for now and for the future. I feel good about the class of guys from top to bottom.”

Update: The Lions made a handful of minor roster moves Monday, cutting running back Brian Calhoun and receivers Travis Taylor and Steve Sanders, and signing defensive lineman Eric Hicks.

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Anonymous dan sullivan said...

Good column, Dave. Did the Lions offer Antone Smith a contract?

9:03 PM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

Don't know if they did yet or not. He's one of the few guys from rookie orientation who could get an invite back, though. Should find out shortly.

8:27 AM 
Blogger Jesse said...

Hey Dave,
What do you think of Parson's chances?

8:46 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

according to niyo's blog, foote will visit the lions tomorrow.

9:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they have to bring Foote in. Dave, with so many new faces can the D expect to play well together? Doesn't it take time to get some sort of cohesiveness??

10:44 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julian Peterson, Grady Jackson, Phillip Buchanon, Anthony Henry, Louis Delmas, Eric King and possibly Larry Foote and Kevin Carter. These will be replacing Ryan Nece, Corey Redding, Leigh Bodden, Brian Kelly, Stanley Wilson, Paris Lenon and Landon Cohen. The defense already looks exponentially better to me, without even factoring in the increase in the level of coaching.

11:09 AM 
Blogger Dave Birkett said...

Foote's coming in for a visit. I'm not sure if the Lions want to sign him, though, at least at what he'll be looking for. Let's wait and see who else he visits.

1:50 PM 
Anonymous Steve said...

So you are not expecting a contract tomorrow Dave?

1:52 PM 

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