Kitna: Deal with Lions Not "Backup Money"

New quarterback says that he'll look to compete for the st arting job. Contract details and comments inside.

ALLEN PARK - According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the contract between the Detroit Lions and quarterback Jon Kitna is not "backup money" -- in those words by Kitna.

Kitna's deal, according to the Cincinnati Bengals official web site, spans four years and will pay him $10.5 million and included a $3.5 million signing bonus.

Kitna, joined by his wife Jennifer and two oldest children, felt comfortable in his first meeting with the team on Saturday.

"We sat down with the head coach (Rod Marinelli), who is a straight-shooter," Kitna told the Enquirer.

Kitna also watched film with Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz, saying, "Seeing the opportunity I had, they stepped up and made the commitment financially. (In Cincinnati) it was just as a backup (quarterback), period. There was no contract here."

Kitna's comments are interesting considering Detroit's staunch support of incumbent starter Joey Harrington, and leave the impression that Kitna will be given the opportunity to battle Harrington for the starting job in training camp.

Harrington and backup Dan Orlovsky have been working with Martz, as the former St. Louis Rams offensive architect and head coach installs his philosophy. Kitna will join the next week.

Last year, free-agent quarterback Jeff Garcia signed a one-year, $2 million with Detroit. He will not be re-signed.


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