Lion Bytes: Free-Agent Update, Draft & More

List of Lions' free-agents heading into the off-season, draft update and more.

FREE-AGENT UPDATE:
--TE Stephen Alexander (UFA. Too many drops but upgraded the position in 2004, likely to be re-signed.)
--DT Marcus Bell (UFA. Made a strong, positive impact on D-line rotation and will be re-signed.)
--CB Chris Cash (RFA. Didn't have a good year but will probably be tendered at minimum amount.)
--KR Eddie Drummond (RFA. A Pro Bowler who's special when he's healthy. Lions cannot afford to lose him.)
--S Vernon Fox (RFA. Proved he can help on special teams, likely to be back.)
--CB Andre Goodman (RFA. Too many lapses in coverage leave his future in doubt.)
--G Tyrone Hopson (RFA. Surprised with good showing in final game, might have earned a contract for 2005.)
--RT Stockar McDougle (UFA. The Lions want him back but won't break the bank to keep him because he seldom plays up to his athletic potential.)
--QB Mike McMahon (UFA. Mariucci likes him, but McMahon wants to compete for a starting job. That's not likely in Detroit.)
--QB Rick Mirer (UFA. No. 3 QB for the past season. Didn't do anything wrong but not likely to be re-signed.)
--DT Kelvin Pritchett (UFA. After 14 NFL seasons, it might be time to call it a career.)
--LB Wali Rainer (UFA. A valuable performer on special teams when he plays under control. Expected to be re-signed.)
--C Dominic Raiola (UFA. O-line coach Pat Morris puts him in situations he handles best -- pulling, blocking on the move. Will be re-signed.)
--OT Victor Rogers (RFA. Very little experience but could be insurance in case they don't bring McDougle back.)
--CB Dainon Sidney (UFA. Spent the season on IR, not likely to be back for 2005.)
--WR Tai Streets (UFA. A disappointing season, not much of a factor in Lions offense. Leaves his career with the Lions in doubt.)
--WR Reggie Swinton (UFA. Inconsistent as a receiver but valuable as backup to frequently injured KR/PR Eddie Drummond.)
--FB Stephen Trejo (UFA. Cut once last summer, came back to play on special teams. Probably will not be re-signed.)
--SS Bracy Walker (UFA. Adequate backup in the secondary but best as a special teamer. Lions want him back.)

FEELING A DRAFT: Unlike a couple of years ago, when they needed help at virtually every position, the Lions can be selective in both the draft and free agency. They'll get a left guard, a safety and then look for a promising TE. A speed pass rusher would interest them because Kalimba Edwards, a second-round pick in 2002, still hasn't panned out.

MEDICAL WATCH: TE Stephen Alexander (ankle), WR Roy Williams (ankle) and DE Jared DeVries (sports hernia) all are candidates for surgeries early in the offseason. None appears to be a serious problem, however.


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