NFL releases 2012 draft order; Lions with seven picks

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on March 28, 2012 – 4:51 pm

The NFL released the 2012 NFL Draft order for all seven rounds, including compensatory selections.

Round Pick Overall
1 22 23
2 22 54
3 23 85
4 22 117
5 23 158
7 12 219
7 23 230

Download the full NFL Draft Order (PDF)

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Lions agree to terms with RB Kevin Smith

Posted by ttwentyman on March 27, 2012 – 2:15 pm

The Lions have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with running back Kevin Smith, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew confirmed to reporters Tuesday at the owners meetings in Florida.

Smith played in seven games with the Lions last season after signing mid-season to help bolster a running back position decimated by injuries.

Smith was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after a 201-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Panthers in his first game back with the team last season.

“He’s a versatile back,” Mayhew said. “He can do a lot of things. He’s really good on third down, a good pass protector and a very intelligent football player.”

Smith’s signing is good for the Lions. He adds depth to the unit behind Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best. Leshoure missed all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon and Best missed the last 10 games with a concussion.

“Kevin is a good back, his problem obviously has been the number of injuries he’s had and just trying to overcome those,” said Mayhew.

Smith has had knee, shoulder and ankle injuries over the last three seasons.

He was a third-round pick by the Lions out of Central Florida in 2008 and started most of his first two seasons in the NFL. The team did not offer him a restricted free agent tender before last season, which made him a free agent.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 48 Comments »

NFL met with Saints about bounty the day before Lions playoff game

Posted by ttwentyman on March 26, 2012 – 7:53 pm

The NFL met with the Saints about their “bounty” program the day before their Wild Card playoff game against the Lions, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday at the NFL league meetings in Florida.

“I sent Jeff Pash and our head of security Jeff Miller down to meet with (Saints owner) Mr. Benson I believe it was the Friday before a Saturday game,” Goodell said.

“The point was to make it clear that we had new and credible information that a bounty program may exist and that he should make it very clear beginning with the game the next day that there should be no bounty system in play while our investigation continues.”

It’s unclear if  a “bounty” existed for the Lions game and 49ers game the following week.  The NFL has not discovered any specific target of a Lions player in their investigation.

The Saints were fined $500,000 and had two second-round draft picks (2012 and 2013) taken from them as a result of the investigation. Also, head coach Sean Payton is suspended the entire year, general manager Mickey Loomis is suspended the first eight games of this season and assistant coach Joe Vitt is suspended without pay for the first six games.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »

Drew Stanton traded to Colts

Posted by ttwentyman on March 23, 2012 – 7:14 pm

The saga surrounding former Lions quarterback Drew Stanton has come to a happy ending for all involved.

Stanton signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal to be the backup for Mark Sanchez with the Jets last week, but became expendable when the Jets traded for Tim Tebow on Wednesday.

Stanton asked for a trade when the Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said publicly that Tebow would backup Sanchez. Stanton was promised the backup job when he signed with the team last week.

The Jets obliged Stanton’s request by trading him to the Colts Friday for an undisclosed draft pick.

Stanton left the Lions in free agency for a chance to be the backup after sitting behind Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill the last two seasons.

Stanton has played in 12 games, including four starts, since being drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft.

The Colts are expected to select quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft, but Stanton should get a chance to compete for the backup spot.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 9 Comments »

Lions sign DE Everette Brown, LB Ashlee Palmer and TE Will Heller; host CB Corey Graham

Posted by ttwentyman on March 22, 2012 – 5:00 pm

The Lions continue to add depth to the roster with the signing of defensive end Everette Brown, linebacker Ashlee Palmer and tight end Will Heller to one-year deals Thursday.

Terms of the deals were unknown.

Brown, 24, was in for a visit Thursday and liked what he saw enough to put pen to paper on a new contract.

The Lions have a steady rotation of defensive ends with Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril, Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young, but the way the team covets pass rushers, there’s always room to take a look at a defensive end.

He was a second-round pick by the Panthers in 2009 out of Florida State. He recorded six sacks in two seasons with the team before they released him in final cuts last September.

He played in three games for the Chargers last season.

Palmer, 25, has been with the Lions the last two seasons as a reserve linebacker and steady contributor on special teams. The Lions did not offer Palmer a restricted free agent tender when free agency started March 13, but always wanted to sign him back.

Palmer recorded eight tackles last season and provided fans some of the biggest hits of the season on special teams.

Heller, 31, who’s been with the Lions since 2009, was a salary cap casualty early last week as the team tried to get under the $120.6 million cap.

Heller is the third tight end behind Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, but is the team’s primary blocking tight end or “H-back”. He caught six passes for 42 yards during the regular season and his lone touchdown of the season came in the Lions’ playoff loss to the Saints. He gives the Lions a reliable backup and a very deep tight end unit.

All three signing add depth to the roster, which is the main goal for Martin Mayhew and Co. right now.

The Lions also hosted cornerback and Pro Bowl coverage specialist Corey Graham for a visit Thursday.

Graham was primarily a special teams contributor for the Bears, playing in 16 games with no starts last season. He did have three interceptions in limited action on defense, though.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 40 Comments »

Former Lions QB Drew Stanton is the odd man out once again

Posted by ttwentyman on March 22, 2012 – 1:41 pm

It looked like former Lions third-string quarterback Drew Stanton finally had a good thing going when he signed a one-year, $1.25 million free agent deal with the Jets last week.

That was until the Jets made a surprise move Wednesday by trading for former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Now, Stanton finds himself in the same position he was in last year with the Lions: slated as the third-string quarterback.

The New York Daily News is now reporting that Stanton wants out of New York.

The Jets paid Stanton a $500,000 signing bonus as part of his $1.25 million deal and also promised him that they would add no other quarterbacks and he’d be the No. 2 behind starter Mark Sanchez, according to the Daily News.

“When we signed Drew, obviously this was not contemplated in that decision,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum told the paper Wednesday night.  “When you get an unexpected opportunity to add a player like Tim, you have to take advantage of that.”

Tannenbaum announced that Tebow is now Sanchez’s primary back-up and hasn’t decided what to do with Stanton.

“I’m extremely excited to get an opportunity to come to an organization like this,” Stanton said in a team press release after his signing was announced last week.

“My goal is to help Mark (Sanchez) produce on the field and to help this organization win football games.”

We’ll have to see how this all plays out in the coming days.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 3 Comments »

Lions re-sign long snapper Don Muhlbach to one-year deal

Posted by ttwentyman on March 21, 2012 – 2:46 pm

The Lions have re-signed long snapper Don Muhlbach to a one-year contract.

Muhlbach entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and has spent his entire career with the Lions. He became the team’s full-time long snapper in 2006 and the signing was important for the continued success of the special teams units.

Muhlbach is one of the league’s most consistent long snappers. Kicker Jason Hanson is quick to mention his name anytime he’s asked about his success over recent years.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 1 Comment »

Lions agree to terms with CB Jacob Lacey; re-sign DT Andre Fluellen

Posted by ttwentyman on March 20, 2012 – 10:41 am

The Lions have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent cornerback Jacob Lacey, according to sources.

Lacey, 24, has started 27 games for the Colts over the last three seasons playing primarily left corner. He had 72 tackles and one interception in 15 games with the Colts last season.

Lacey visited the Lions’ Allen Park training facility last week after he wasn’t offered a restricted free agent tender by the Colts.

He will more than likely compete to fill the starting cornerback spot vacated by Eric Wright, who left after signing with the Buccaneers.

The Lions have also re-signed defensive tackle Andre Fluellen to a one-year deal.

Last season, Fluellen had 11 tackles off the bench for the Lions. He appeared in 13 games and forced one fumble.

He’s been a valuable reserve for the Lions over the years because of his ability to play all four positions along the defensive line.

Fluellen was third-round pick by the Lions in 2008.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 28 Comments »

Graham, Donahue expected to compete for Lions’ punting job

Posted by ttwentyman on March 19, 2012 – 5:09 pm

For the second straight season, there will be competition in training camp to win the Lions’ punting job.

The Lions signed Ben Graham to a one-year deal Monday, with Ryan Donahue already under contract for 2012.

Donahue beat out the incumbent Nick Harris for the job in training camp last season and became the first rookie punter to open the season for the Lions since Mike Black in 1983. He played in the season’s first eight games before hurting his quadriceps in practice and being placed on injured reserve a month later.

Donahue had an average of 42.7 yards per punt with a net of 35.6.

Graham originally signed with the Lions Nov. 15 and was the team’s punter for the final seven games of 2011. He averaged 44.1 yards per punt with a 38.7 net.

Entering his 9th NFL season, Graham has also spent time with the Jets (2005-08), Saints (2008) and Cardinals (2008-10, 2011).

If anything, punting drills just got a little more interesting in training camp.

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Backus comments on agreeing to terms on a two-year deal

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on March 17, 2012 – 9:20 pm

Lions Insider Tim Twentyman reported earlier that the Lions have agreed on two-year deals with T Jeff Backus and QB Shaun Hill.

Backus, who has started every game for the Lions since he was drafted in 2001, had this to say:

“It took longer than expected, but we’ve agreed to terms on a new contract that allows us to move forward and continue to work toward our ultimate goal, which is winning championships.

“I’m glad to have this opportunity to finish my career with the Detroit Lions. I’m looking forward to continuing our recent success and making a strong push toward winning a Super Bowl.”

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