Saturday, March 1, 2008

Detroit Lions Trade Shaun Rogers

So it figures that the first sports related post I have in a long time (too long really) relates to the Detroit Lions trading away one of their best players in the Matt Millen era. For all of Shaun Rogers' faults, and there were many, when he had his head on straight (which wasn't often) he was a dominating defensive tackle. Last season, when the Lions were winning and showing life, so was Rogers, and he was getting sacks, and blocking field goals, and even scoring a touchdown on a long run back. Then Rogers faded and likely not coincidentally, so did the Lions, and we were left without another lost season. So, after failing to convince Rogers to maintain his weight and his conditioning, the team did what they threatened to do years ago, and that was trade Big Baby away and get what they could for the former Pro Bowl player.

And the best they could do was a third round pick and cornerback Leigh Bodden from the Cleveland Browns. I actually much prefer this trade to the original swap with Cincinnati which would have netted the Lions only a third and fifth round draft pick. Here, we keep the early pick, and get a guy in Bodden who can step in and start at cornerback next year. Bodden, who is only 26, had what could be considered a career year last season, with six interceptions and 88 tackles. The Bengals Chad Johnson, who is loathe to give credit to an cornerback, once called Bodden the toughest defensive back he has to face, and given how much of a need the secondary was for the Lions, this was a big pickup. With the addition of safety Dwight Smith, the returning Daniel Bullocks (the young safety who missed all of last season with a knee injury), and the re-signing of Keith Smith, the Lions secondary actually doesn't look all that scary anymore. And considering the team will likely sign one more corner and draft at least one early on in the 2008 NFL Draft, there may actually be something to get encouraged about. Maybe.

Now the Lions still have a lot of holes to fill. Right tackle is a concern, though with the acquisition of Bodden, an offensive tackle in the first round of the draft may be more of a possibility than it was a week ago. Defensive tackle is also a concern now, as I'm not convinced Shaun Cody is ready to step in to a starting roll. And, of course, linebacker is a glaring weakness. Oft-injured Boss Bailey may join his brother in Denver, leaving the Lions without a strong-side linebacker and in desperate need of a middle linebacker, as I'm ready for the great Paris Lennon experience to end.

So, while the Lions may have done themselves well yesterday, acquiring Bodden, and adding him to Smith and Smith in the rebuilt Lions secondary, the team still has a looooooooong way to go to get back to respectability. But we already knew that, right?

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