Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Lions fans, we are at DEFCON 1! I repeat, DEFCON 1!

The soap opera that is the Detroit Lions continues. When I last left you, the Lions QB controversy was starting in earnest. You know it's a big deal whe the Little Fella deigns to weigh in with his opinion. He covers many of the same bases all the Detroit bloggers did yesterday, but I digress... Kitna vs Harrington, the battle begins. The arguing got us all lightheaded.

Then we got word that Kalimba Edwards recieved a 20 million dollar contract coming off a 7 sack season. Our heads began to spin. A blocking tight end from Dallas, Dan Campbell, was given a 5 year contract. We were staggered, but still standing. All that was nothing, compared to the bombshell that landed this morning, like a scud missile right between the eyes. It has hit the fan in regard to the quarterback position.

Killer Kowalski, shiat stirrer extraordinaire, has put all of Southeastern Michigan at Lions alert level red with his Booth Newspapers opinion piece and radio appearances today. The Killer is all but saying Joey Blue Skies will be released, at his request, as he unhappy, fed up, and ready to blow town. It was a speculative column, with no quotes attributed to Harrington. But you'd think Killer must be getting information from someone on the inside, as he put it in print. You also have the fact that you may have a backup QB in Harrington that costs 12 million towards your cap number, if Kitna is the starter. And we all realize that's pure insanity. Saying sports radio, message boards, and the blogosphere exploded in an orgasmic frenzy of opinion is understating things.

Then the plot thickened...

NFL Network's Adam Schefter appeared on NFL Total Access and on local radio with the nugget that the Lions are still talking to Josh McCown. That statement does fit the Harrington is leaving story, in that if Harrington is going to be released, there is a definite need for another QB. Cue even more speculation!

Also, we have all heard the rumors that the draft stocks of Vince Young and Jay Cutler are dropping like Drew Rosenhaus' credibilty, especially with the Drew Brees signing removing the Saints from the QB market. So the possibility of a top prospect being available when the Lions pick at #9 is still very much alive. At this point, heads of Lions fans begin to implode.

So what is going on in Allen Park? We need to seperate the wheat from the chaff, in somewhat chronological order.

Fact: Steve Mariucci was not a Harrington supporter. Remember Mariucci's explanation for all the dropped passes? It was Joey's fault.
The locker room is not happy with Harrington, as per Dre' Bly.
Fact: Neither is the fanbase, they're pissed beyond belief.
Fact: Mooch gets the ziggy, and interim coach Dick Jauron refuses to play Harrington. Even as Jauron's campaigning for the job, he feels rag armed, one legged Jeff Garcia is his best bet to win games.
Fact: The only decision maker left with ties to Harrington is Matt Millen.
Fact: Millen was quoted as saying that he won't have say as to who starts under center, that's Marinelli's call.
Fact: The current coaching regime has praised Harrington's skills in the media.
Fact: Skins QB Patrick Ramsey, allowed to seek a trade, visited Allen Park.
Fact: As did Josh McCown.
Fact: The Lions sign Kitna to a 4 year, 11.5 million contract, 3.5 million up front. That's not backup money. He was known to be looking for a starting opportunity.
Fact: Harrington is owed a 4 million dollar roster bonus on June 15th. His cap number will be around 12 million. Christ almighty, that's top ten QB money.
Fact: Harrington is not a top 10 QB.
Fact: If Harrington is cut, the cap hit is not extrordinary, it's actually cheaper than keeping him.

Rumor: The Lions like Jay Cutler, according to several of the early mock drafts.
Rumor: The Lions were interested in Drew Brees, according to Schefter, but was deemed too expensive for damaged goods.
Rumor: Wobb Parker says there is friction between Martz and Harrington, the Martz QB school did not go well.
Rumor: If the new coaching staff were actually happy with Joey, and vice versa, why would the Lions sign Kitna to that kind of money?
Rumor: Josh McCown is still in play.
Rumor: Today Killer opines that Joey wants out, ASAP, and the Lions are willing to grant his wish.

So connect the dots, and you can see where the bye-bye Joey speculation is coming from. Why keep Joey, if he's unhappy and you believe you have better, cheaper options? It's been 4 long years, and despite my half joking speculation that Harrington was starter for life, the time has come to cut bait and bail on the Joey Harrington era. It's never going to work. Ever. He doesn't want to be here, the fans are tired of him, the locker room doesn't respect him, and the new coaching regime believes they can win with Mike Martz laying his hands upon whatever QB's end up in camp. So why suffer with a QB no one other than Matt Millen wants? As if Millen being in your corner is a ringing endorsement...

Where does all this leave us, the long suffering Lions fan? first, I do NOT want to see the first pick used on a QB, we've been burned too many times. Just say Long, Ware, and Harrington to any Lions fan, and we curl up in the fetal position. Personally, I'm hoping for a competion between Kitna and McCown. I know it would cause a controversy, but what else is new in Detroit? It's not a normal fall without we fans biatching about the quarterbacking. The more talent the Lions have under center, the better. You also have to consider that QB's get hit often in Martz's offense. I'd rather see 2 experienced QB's under contract, rather than relying on Orlovsky and a draft pick backing up Kitna.

All in all, after considering every option, I've come to one conclusion. I have a headache...


  1. I'm not saying that the Lions aren't still looking at McCown (and if Joey is on the way out, that could be a good way to go). But how much credibility does Adam Schefter have after he was banging any drum he could find, saying the Lions would go after Drew Brees? How did that turn out?

    And I don't like the way the draft is looking after the Saints picked up Brees. If one or more of the three touted QB prospects is available at #9, and the Lions take one, I'm throwing something at the TV and going to to pick out stuff for my new favorite football team. Two words for the Leinart-Young-Cutler scenario: TRADE DOWN.

  2. I'm trying to get excited about the Jon Kitna Era, but I just can't do it. I still maintain if you put Jon Kitna up against Joey Harrington that Harrington gives you the best chance to win. Which is damning with faint praise, but still...

    If I were Millen? Keep Harrington and Kitna, bite the salary cap bullet on Harrington's deal. Draft a credible QB prospect in the middle or later rounds (Omar Jacobs?), dump Shaun King and Dan Orlovsky.

    If Harrington doesn't cut the mustard, give the reins to Kitna and hope that he has the chops to lead the Lions to the playoffs and hope that QB X develops into a starter by 2008.

  3. Hell, Killer sold me. Harrington is on his way out. Now if we draft a QB in the first round I am going to be pissed.

  4. How exactly is Matt Millen still employed?!?

    Give me an article about that!

  5. Look, Joey needed to go along time ago, now he simply HAS TO GO that he has the nerve to bitch about not wanting to be here! Can I buy his plane ticket and I will even drive him to the airport!

    Kitna is better than Garcia, but most things are! Kitna is better than Joey, but again most things are! Joey is a lifelong backup, mediocre at best and I hope that they just cut him, end of blue skies forever!

  6. Great article Big Al! If they sign McNown I would led King go and then keep Dan O. as #3 (if the Lions see potential there) then the #9 pick can be used for more pressing needs or traded for a couple of picks...