The big question heading into the recently past NFL Draft was whether or not Detroit would pick Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington or Texas cornerback Quentin Jammer. It was a choice that many people said could shape the draft.
Picking Jammer would have pleased the masses, instantly improved the stagnant defense and immediately helped the horrid cornerback situation. It was also the more logical choice, with the cornerback spot being where it was.
Picking Harrington was the dark horse pick. It would mean investing time into a position that needed attention, but many people considered picking Harrington a luxury compared to getting the glaring need in the cornerback spot dealt with.
Of course, we all know what the Lions did. Although it didn't please a lot of people, the fans and media have seen enough of Joey to have warmed up to the selection. But what remains unfixed is the cornerback slot. The Lions have signed veteran Eric Davis, who has looked average enough to look stellar according to Detroit's standards. But on the other side is the starter by default, three-hundred year veteran Todd Lyght. He has not shown enough to be an NFL starter, let alone a Lion. With recent news coming out of Allen Park of Terry Fair coming off of the PUP list soon, fans of the blue and silver can breathe a collective sigh of relief if and when he breaks his away into the starting lineup.
But can Fair's release from of the Physically Unable to Perform list mean more than just playing time?
Recent news out of Detroit's camp is GM Matt Millen is interested in acquiring San Diego Chargers' rookie holdout Quentin Jammer. Jammer's agent, Michael Sullivan, is making no progress with the team. Conversly, the team isn't making any progress with Jammer or his agent. The sticking point is San Diego's reluctance with signing a high profile rookie because of the Ryan Leaf debacle of a few years ago. The average salary for the first three picks is around $15 million. Agent Michael Sullivan insists that he doesn't want $15 million. On the other side, the Chargers reported offer is around $12 million, with most of the salary coming in the first year, with bonuses, incentives and base salary. Most people close to Jammer's camp say the incentives are what Sullivan and Jammer both disagree with.
So with everything being said, Matt Millen has said he is interested in Jammer and reported trade rumors are running rampant around the Detroit and San Diego areas.
The most common scenario is sending the aforementioned player, Terry Fair, who happens to be a former first round pick, to the Bolts along with Detroit's first round pick next year, for Jammer. The deadline to trade the rights of rookies has passed, which means the Chargers would have to sign Quentin on the Lions' behalf in a sign-and-trade deal.
If Matt Millen could actually pull this trade off, it would instantly add years to Millen's career in Detroit. The fans that chastized him for seemingly ignoring the CB spot would be satisfied. Matt would also land the player he wanted in the first place, in Jammer. The defense's worst position would be improved immediately as well. It would add size to the position, upgrading from Terry Fair's meager 5'9 to a healthy 6'0, which would definately help against taller recievers that happen to be in the NFC North, i.e. Randy Moss.
Jammer would also step right into a starting role, which would probably please him. He would be the #1 cornerback regardless of which side of the field he played on, just because he would be regarded as such from the fans and media. He would get the attention from everyone that doesn't entail questions of a contract holdout.
The Chargers would benefit because they would get a proven commodity in Terry Fair, which seems to be the reason why they are reluctant to sign Jammer. Fair hasn't exactly hit his apex yet, either, which means he has enough potential to grow in San Diego, possibly to proportions unseen by Detroit. He was a first round pick, after all.
Fans in Detroit are reluctant to accept the possibility of the trade pulling through for several reasons. One, when was the last time something so plausibly good happened in a trade for Detroit? It's not a common occurrence for the stars to align just right for the Lions as they could in this situation. Second is the issue of salary. But there are things that can be done to make room for Jammer. If the trade were to pull through, Millen would make sure of that. On the same token, Millen wouldn't do anything wildly unwise. He knows that he could be on thin ice as it is. Although the deal is particularly mouth watering, Millen isn't going to cut any of the star players Detroit has, despite Detroit's vast plethora of talent ...alright, stop laughing.
The point is Millen isn't going to cut Az Hakim or Shaun Rogers to make room for Jammer.
Although the entire idea is rather out there, and perhaps unlikely, it's more than a rumor. Matt Millen has admitted he has interest, and will try for a trade. Unlikely as it may be, it shows effort on Millen's part to improve the position that desperately needs it. Besides, like they say, anything's worth a shot, right? That's the point. Try enough times and you may even hit your target, and Detroit deserves a bulls eye soon.