Paws For Thought: Interesting Questions

Defensive backs coach, free agency and Mike McMahon questions need answering. This week's edition of "Paws for Thought" asks some tough questions that just might make you say, "hmmm."

1.   Cleveland running back William Green, who rushed for over 800 yards as a rookie, has been reinstated by the NFL after finishing the terms of his suspension and aftercare program.  With Lee Suggs taking over the rushing duties late last season, Cleveland may be prepared to deal the troubled but talented back.  

Would the Lions be interested in the former Boston College star for say, a fourth or fifth round pick?  How about tossing in Mike McMahon?

2.  Who's going to be the Lions defensive backs coach?  Sources say the Lions were caught a little off-guard by Ray Horton decision to resign and move to the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Lions coach Steve Mariucci isn't one to keep an unhappy coach captive so Horton was allowed to move, but who's going to replace him?   Sources say former Chicago Bears secondary coach Vance Bedford is the leading candidate to take over for Horton, but if so, why hasn't it happened yet?  Is there a "mystery candidate" perhaps from the collegiate ranks?  Stay tuned.

3. Marcus Millen commits to Army?
Now if ever there was a strange marriage this is it.  Word over the weekend was that 6-2, 235-lbs linebacker Marcus Millen from Easton, PA decided to commit to Army, coached by former Lions head coach Bobby Ross.  Yes, Marcus is the son of Lions President and CEO Matt Millen, who once tried to take Bobby Ross' job as director of football operations and who would have fired Ross as head coach in favor of hiring Steve Mariucci, who's contract was due for a renewal in San Francisco.   Of course, William Clay Ford, Sr. nixed the deal at the last minute and Millen went back to the booth.  Now Millen's son will play for Ross at West Point.  Talk about role reversal!

4. Lions planning to target former 49'ers as free agents?
Don't look now, but rumors abound that Detroit's two top free agent targets are current San Francisco 49ers' Ahmed Plummer and J.J. Stokes.  Sources say Detroit is planning to land at least five free agents, in addition to signing their own James Hall and Barrett Green to contract renewals.

Word is that Plummer has emerged from a group of free agent corners because of his youth, playmaking ability and his solid relationship with his former coach Steve Mariucci.  Word is that Stokes will visit Detroit shortly after the free agency period begins March 3rd with Plummer shortly thereafter.

5.  What will the Lions do regarding Mike McMahon?
With McMahon a restricted free agent that they would like to retain, there is little question that the Lions will tender McMahon some kind of offer.  However, the level of compensation depends upon what kind of tender the team offers.  Here are the differences:

1. To retain right of first refusal only, they need to tender a contract worth at least $275,000.

2. To retain right of first refusal along with draft choice compensation of McMahon's original draft round selection (6th) they must tender a contract with a value of $275,000 or 110% of his current contract [$428,000]whichever is larger.

3. To retain right of first refusal along with a first round draft pick as compensation they must tender and offer of at least $600,000 110% of his current contract whichever is larger.

4.  To retain right of first refusal along with a first and third round pick as compensation they must tender and offer of $800,000 or 110% of his current contract whichever is larger.

Look for Detroit to offer McMahon the secondary tender which would bring a 5th round pick as compensation if they elect not to match any offer.  The $600,000 would almost double McMahon's current salary.

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