Free-agency might be still a few ego shots away from completion, but that hasn't stopped the NFL rumor mill from churning.
And the Detroit Lions are among many teams being addressed.
One of the more notable salary cap casualties was the Rams' Isaac Bruce, who was released Sunday night. A 12-year NFL veteran, Bruce holds three team records (receptions, touchdowns and yards), but a slowly declining career and massive cap figure (he was due $10 million in salary in 2006, including a $1.5 million signing bonus) has made him a liability.
According to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report, the Lions have lined up with Washington and Houston as eager suitors. Considering Bruce's successful past under former Rams coach and current Lions' offensive coordinator Mike Martz, he might think twice about returning to St. Louis, who have expressed an interest in re-signing their 1994 draft choice once they've cleared enough cap room.
The enticing aspect of Bruce joining Detroit is simple: his veteran experience and familiarity with Martz's scheme. Last year, Lions' receiver Roy Williams blamed the team's offensive struggles on a lack of a veteran presence. The youthful trio of Charles Rogers, Williams and first round pick Mike Williams was largely unproductive. With Bruce, the Lions would have a proven wide receiver that understands Martz's terminology, but perhaps more importantly, one that understands exactly what Martz expects from his receivers in an explosive but demanding offense.
He would be a liaison, but also, a reliable target for quarterback Joey Harrington.
Detroit has the cap room for Bruce, but they have to weigh his value versus other positions -- namely on the offensive line and defensive side of the ball -- that also must be addressed.
Kitna, a nine-year veteran, surpassed 3,000 passing yards in 2001, 2002 and 2003 for Cincinnati, but ultimately handed the starting position to golden boy Carson Palmer. The Bengals have stated that they would like to re-sign Kitna, especially with a devastating post-season knee injury clouding the future of Palmer, but they might not be able to compete financially with other team's seeking a backup quarterback.
If Kitna did join Detroit, he would enter with the understanding that Harrington is the starter, but he has the history and physical tools to unseat Harrington should the Lions offensive woes continue. Kitna would be less expensive than San Diego's Drew Brees, the premier free-agent quarterback, and with also less question marks.
Detroit will also look at recently released Raiders' quarterback Kerry Collins, Cardinals' free-agent Josh McCown, Miami free-agent Sage Rosenfels and they might even take a gander at the Redskins' Patrick Ramsey, a disgruntled former first round pick whom Washington is actively shopping.
During a briefing with reporters a few weeks ago, Lions' GM Matt Millen did not rule out a back-up quarterback acquisition via trade.