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Nate Caminata - LionsFans.com
If there was anyway possible to compensate for an embarrassing week, the Detroit Lions may have done so Monday evening, agreeing in principle to a three-year, $7.5 million deal with wide receiver Germane Crowell.
The deal reportedly includes a $1 million signing bonus, including an incentive clause that could pay Crowell $3 million in 2003.
Earlier in the week, a Booth Newspaper interview with recently released wide receiver Johnnie Morton shed humiliation onto the organization. Morton, who has received strong interest from several teams, accused the Lions of "deceiving" him, and felt the team hurt his career by giving him a late start in free-agency.
Crowell, a second-round draft choice in 1998, tallied just 22 receptions for 289 yards in a 2001 campaign that was cut short due to to a PCL tear. Both the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers expressed interest in Crowell, but both ball club's were ultimately scared off by his knee injury.
The 6'3 receiver drew praise earlier in his career, and was thought to be the heir-apparent to future hall of famer Herman Moore. However, critics still question Crowell's physical durability, and lack of concentration due to a habit of dropping passes.
Crowell's presence shores up a wide receiving corps that will be completely revamped by 2002. With the acquisitions of Bill Schroeder (6'3), and Az-Zahir Hakim, the Lions pose a fast and taller lineup than the one assembled in past seasons.
The signing of Crowell nullifies any chance of the team re-signing Morton.