With former Lions offensive tackle George Foster signing a deal to play for the Browns, the last links to the ill-fated Dre Bly trade are finally and irrevocably gone from the Lions franchise.
One of the highest-profile free-agent signings of the Matt Millen era, Bly was traded to the Denver Broncos in March 2007 for Foster and running back Tatum Bell.
A former first-round pick of the Broncos, Foster had fallen out of favor with the franchise, and wouldn't fare much better with the Lions. He continued a penchant for false-start penalties in his two seasons in Detroit, benched and released once in each campaign. After nine starts in 15 games in 2007, Foster was jettisoned after the Lions drafted Gosder Cherilus, then brought back for last season, starting three of the four games in which he played. He was released again after the Lions signed former Redskins (and U-M and Clawson) tackle Jon Jansen on June 1.
Sadly, Foster was the better acquisition of the two players in the trade. Pedestrian statistically in five appearances in 2007 (44 rushes, 182 yards, 1 TD), Bell was best known for his now-infamous luggage-snatching incident in training camp last year, stealing the bags of Rudi Johnson, the player signed to replace him. Bell ended up back with the Broncos last season, but is currently out of the NFL.
For the record, Bly had seven interceptions and 134 tackles in his two seasons in Denver, and was cut the roster purge by the Broncos' new coaching staff because of the $6.8 million he was due in salary this season. He's on a one-year contract with the 49ers.
— MATTHEW B. MOWERY
Labels: Dre Bly, George Foster, Gosder Cherilus, Jon Jansen, Rudi Johnson, Tatum Bell