Lions May Revisit Garcia After Johnson Visit

After a visit and a fifteen minute workout for team officials, Brad Johnson left the Lions Allen Park headquarters without a contract offer. Why? Lions' insider Mike Fowler has that answer plus more inside.

ALLEN PARK - After a visit and a fifteen minute workout for team officials, Brad Johnson left the Lions Allen Park headquarters without a contract offer.

Johnson brushed the dirt off his shoulders and hopped a plane to Chicago to visit and workout for the Bears in his search for a new location and the Lions continued their search for a backup quarterback.

According to sources, Johnson was less than impressive in his workout and Detroit decided to look around rather than offer the 38-year old veteran a contract. That could mean that Detroit ratchets up its pursuit of veteran Jeff Garcia.

Garcia, who could have signed a contract by now with either Denver, Seattle or Tampa Bay remains on the open market and is expected to make a decision on his team of choice at the end of the week.

Coincidentally, Detroit also has the same timetable for signing someone to be the backup to Joey Harrington, but of the four teams that have expressed interest in the 35-year old three-time pro bowl quarterback, Detroit has the weakest starting quarterback play.

INFINITY BROADCASTING OUSTS CHAMPION
In conjunction with a new five-year contract to retain broadcast rights, Infinity Broadcasting named local Fox 2 Sports Director Dan Miller as their new play-by-play broadcaster.

The move means the end of a 16-year run by Mark Champion and perhaps the end of Jim Brandstatter as color analyst. Champion wanted to make it clear that his dismissal was the decision of the radio station and not the Detroit Lions.

"There was nothing I could do about it," said Champion. "It was a financial deal by the two entities. It's a bottom line thing, that's just the way it is and you have to understand that and deal with it and move on. [But] do not lay any fault or blame on the Lions organization."

Some observers feel that Champion irked Infinity by doing Pistons play-by-play broadcasts on rival Clear Channel's WDFN during a period where the two stations are openly competing for market share, whether or not that factor into the decision is unknown.

"Dan Miller is a friend and I'm sure he'll do a great job. He has NFL experience and he'll step right in and do a great job."

Champion said he views his life as an exciting journey and while he hopes not to have to leave his loved ones, he's looking to keep working in the business.

It is unclear whether color analyst Jim Brandstatter will return in his role as color analyst. Infinity may decide to make a clear sweep in the booth. Sideline reporter Tony Ortiz will be retained in the same capacity.

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