Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The REAL March Madness?

I think I might finally get it. I see what the Lions are doing. On a day when most of us are concerned with making sure we got our NCAA tourney brackets in before noon and trying to remember whether we picked the correct upsets or not, the Detroit Lions are making sure we talk about them. Sure, I (and we) could ignore them, but if you're a fan of the team, you can't ignore this.

WXYT-AM is reporting that the Lions have signed quarterback Josh McCown. After some searching around, I found a Detroit Free Press article confirming the news. Nick Cotsonika reports that McCown agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract, and will receive a $2 million signing bonus.

So that's six years and $17.5 millon worth of contract handed out to free-agent quarterbacks in the last three days. And that's on top of whatever money counts against the salary cap when Joey Harrington is released. If you're Harrington's real estate agent, you're probably on the phone. The movers and trucks have probably already been booked. After Joey gets back from Thailand, someone will likely hand him a set of keys. How can he not be gone now?

According to MLive.com's Highlight Reel, Tom Kowalski reports that the Lions plan to grant Harrington his wish, and could cut him by Monday. Maybe signing two quarterbacks wasn't part of the original plan, but things changed - fast - when Harrington let the Lions know he didn't want to be in Detroit.

Meanwhile, for those keeping track, the Lions have signed no free-agent offensive lineman, linebackers, defensive lineman, or defensive backs. Contrary to popular belief, the primary offseason needs were apparently quarterbacks and wide receivers. Oh, and giving $20 million to defensive ends who have done nothing to warrant that kind of contract.

Is there an alert setting higher (or lower, whatever) than Defcon 1?

Don't be surprised when the Lions make some sort of big announcement on Opening Day, so they can hijack the sports spotlight from another event getting (and deserving) attention from the fans and media. We can't be talking baseball in April. No, sir.


  • At March 16, 2006 1:30 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    Who knows, Millen did do a couple of nice things two drafts ago, the swap to get Roy and KJ in the first round and the second round move to get Lehman. Maybe he has something up his sleeve to move that #9 for some more later in the draft. Offensive linemen are everywhere in the draft, I am not too concerned there.

    I still like the defensive line, I think Henderson will get more out of them and that the past couple seasons of "bend but don't break, even if they give it to you up the ass with no lube" style that was played by Jauron was more the problem than the players. LB's I think is not that big of an issue either, I just think they need to stay healthy in the LB core more than anything... I am sure some people call me crazy, but I think Henderson and Marinelli will take the D-Line and LB's and get more out of them, I really do.

    I do think they need help on the O-Line, primarily at center, and I think another good corner to compliment Bly would be huge.

    However, this Joey thing is long overdue and I am definitely glad the wet bag of shit is going to get was he deserves... a swift kick in the ass out of town!

  • At March 16, 2006 2:33 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    I generally like the defensive line, too. But Wilkinson is reportedly thinking about retiring, and Millen is trying to talk him out of it. How does the D-line look without Big Daddy? Can Cody step in and take over, or do the Lions need to find a replacement?

    And linebacker looks like a trouble spot to me. Lehman went from being the next Chris Spielman ("He wears #54!") to inching toward the unemployment line. The Lions seem to be suddenly backing off this guy, big-time. Maybe they're just being cautious, as you mentioned, because of his (and the entire corps') injuries.

  • At March 16, 2006 3:57 PM, Anonymous kevin said…

    OK, first of all, Kalimba Edwards will earn his money. Book it. I blogged about him right after he was re-signed.

    Second, I'm rather speechless about the whole QB thing. I don't see McCown or Kitna being that great of an improvement over Joey. I'd rather have gone after a QB in the draft, and signed defensive players in the off-season.

  • At March 16, 2006 4:17 PM, Blogger Cutthroat Pirates said…

    Well I must say I am down here in Tampa screaming at the Bucs as I watch some good O-line players signed to other teams. This is an area the Bucs need to fix too, so I feel your fustration. As for you three new QB, I think McCown and Kitna are the real deal and will improve your team over Joey. As for King, ummm lets just say that Marinelli is loyal and is probably giving King a job. But that don't help your team. You got to remember both are from the Bucs.

  • At March 16, 2006 7:15 PM, Anonymous Matt Millen said…

    Will you bloggers stop picking on me? I KNOW what I'm doing! I have a plan! Really!

  • At March 16, 2006 7:25 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    We know you do, Matt. And I've been (foolishly?) sticking by you the last five years. But you seem very nice, and I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog. I'd like to invite you to my NFL draft party.

    Come on over around noon, hang out with the guys. You don't have to bring anything. Food and drinks will be taken care of. Just stick around until the Lions pick. Then the party will probably break up. Everyone will be tired and go home. It'll be fun.

  • At March 16, 2006 11:28 PM, Anonymous Evan said…

    I was lukewarm on Kitna.

    However, I'm pleased with the McCown signing. Why?

    Well, indulge me for a moment. Wasn't it virtually every analyst and Michael Jordan, the king of b-ball himself, who said Rip Hamilton would never be better than average? Didn't like 27 teams in the NBA trade Chauncey Billups away without a second thought?

    There are, in every sport, LOADS of players who have more talent than is sometimes even fathomable but who, for whatever reason, didn't click in their first stop or two as a pro. Joey *is* one of these guys.

    The reason non-Joey haters were excited when Martz got hired is that there's practically no QB that has stepped into Martz's field of view in the past 10 years that hasn't developed the golden touch for at least a few years.

    Now, if the Joey thing just isn't going to work out and the baggage on both ends is too much, so be it.

    Jon Kitna is 30-something and, frankly, has never been all that good.

    But McCown is still moldable. And talented. With an arm. And used to throwing to young receivers.

    He's no better than Joey on paper. But without the baggage, he can do what Joey couldn't do, apparently, which is let Martz rework him and refocus that ability that no one's ever gotten him to use.

    As for filling holes... I have a feeling Millen's not done yet. He'll try to trade Harrington and maybe a draft pick for a higher pick or something. Or maybe for a defensive back or a depth linebacker or who knows. Or maybe he'll just get cut. Whatever.

    Last year, Dominic Raiola, who admittedly looked like the Windsor tunnel at times on the line, said on the radio something to the effect of, "It's the O-line's fault? Hey, you put 5 blockers on the line for a draw play with 8 guys in the box and see what happens to any O-line." The point was clear: The play-calling was moronic; the play-book was moronic; and the coaching staff wasn't paying much attention to what was going on on the field.

    Marinelli's a specialist on the line of scrimmage, and Martz is a pretty solid offensive mind. If they're not signing O-linemen, it's because they think they can sign an average one or draft one in the top two rounds and be done with it and that through hard work these guys can be good enough. Backus, DeMulling, Raiola, and Woody, on paper, should NOT be as awful as they were. No way, no how. But they weren't motivated and weren't playing. If that changes, then why worry?

    Anyhow... I'm not saying I trust the Lions will be good. But everyone I talk to seems to think that there's no plan here. That's simply not true. The plan has BEEN THERE... Millen just screwed up in picking the coaches to execute it. And only time will tell if he screwed it up again.

    Kitna likened the situation to Cincy before Marvin Lewis got there, and I couldn't agree more. *If* Marinelli, Martz, and Henderson work out, it'll prove Millen right. If not, well, he's out on his ass, and people can look for someone else to blame.


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