Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Lions continue to look for stopgaps, not long-term solutions

Reports out of Denver say former Broncos middle linebacker Al Wilson is a free agent target of the Detroit Lions. Supposedly Wilson is in town today to talk to the turkeys turkey, and a contract. He is a former 1st round draft pick, a long time starter on some very good Bronco defenses, and has played in 5 pro bowls. Sounds great, right?

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Wilson has been out of football for a year, thanks to a severe neck injury suffered late in the 2006 season. Even worse, he's 31 years old. The Lions would be paying big money for a player that is on the down side of his career, and even if he's cleared by doctors, still a huge injury risk.

How many times during the Matt Millen era have the Lions paid free agents big money essentially for their past performance? More than I can count. Wilson is just looking for a big payday, and as he's coming off a years layoff at the the age of 31, it's his final chance at one.

Remove the injury issue, and the similarities to Damion Woody are eerie. Woody was a pro bowl performer on a Super Bowl winning Patriots team, was able to finagle a huge contract from Millen and the Lions, and then greatly under performed (and over ate) for the entire length of the deal.

If the Lions were talking to the Al Wilson of 4 years ago, I'd be all for his signing. I'd be singing the Lions praises. But showing interest in a someone on the sweet side of 30, recovering from a career threatening injury, and having spent a year out of football? It reeks of pure and utter desperation. Then again, any team that has Paris Lenon as their starting middle linebacker is extremely desperate.

The Lions are, once again, trying to plug gaping holes with aging stopgap players. If Millen and Marinelli were being realistic, they would be blowing up the current roster, and rebuilding through the draft and with younger, inexpensive free agents. Unfortunately, with the coaching staff finding themselves in a "win or else" situation in order to save their jobs, they will be looking for quick fixes, rather than building the Lions for the future.

Wilson is nothing more than another patch on what's already a patchwork defense. A band-aid that will have to be replaced in another year or two. That's if the Lions are lucky enough even to get a year or two out of an aging, injured linebacker who depends on his speed and athleticism to be successful.

Signing Al Wilson is risky as all Hell, and has epic fail written all over it. When using Lions logic though, it means he'll be Detroit's starting middle linebacker in 2008.

And they'll be looking for Wilson's replacement in 2009...

1 comment:

  1. in 100% agreement..


    what steps could I possibly take in trying to remove the detroit lions out of my life?