Speaking on the condition of anonymity, sources say that the Lions have received word from league officials that the Cincinnati Bengals have unofficially reached contract terms with University of Southern California quarterback Carson Palmer, effectively putting the Lions, who have the second overall pick in Saturday's entry draft, "on the clock."
Detroit has made no secret of their love for Rogers and Lions president Matt Millen fretted as late as last week that someone would move up to snatch Rogers away from him. But then came rumors of a 'masking agent' in Rogers urine sample for the NFL. That turned out to be nothing more than too much water taken in just prior to giving the sample.
Still, the rumors were enough to scare away the most avid suitor for Rogers, the Houston Texans, who are now said to be sold on Miami wide receiver Andre Johnson, opening the door for the Lions to begin negotiations with Rogers.
Detroit may need the early time since Rogers agents, Carl and Kevin Poston of Farmington Hills, MI and Houston, TX are among the toughest negotiators in the business.
Detroit believes that the negotiating style of C.O.O of Lions' properties, Tom Lewand, will get a deal done, if not by the weekend, then shortly after the draft.
The Lions hope to have the framework of a deal in place while Lions president and CEO Matt Millen, holds out hope for a blockbuster "New Orleans Saints" type offer from a club below him.
In 1999, then New Orleans Saints head coach and GM Mike Ditka was so enamored with University of Texas running back Ricky Williams that he traded his entire draft (six picks) to the Washington Redskins, plus a first and third round pick the following season in exchange for Williams.
While Millen would likely settle for half that amount, a trade up offer of any significance is unlikely.
In order to hedge their bets, however, Detroit is said to be also preparing to have other officials from the club speak to the representatives of Terence Newman, the all-american cornerback from Kansas State and Terrell Suggs, the super sack man from Arizona State.
Despite the presence of a "plan B", all signs appear to be "go" for the Lions to get Rogers signed, sealed and delivered to new coach Steve Mariucci, perhaps even before Saturday's draft.