(ALLEN PARK, MI)--The only real surprise of the Lions final cut down to 53
was the release of former #1 pick in 1998 Terry Fair, Fair was the last of a group of underachieving draftees from the Ron Hughes era.
Fair had made a reputation as a middle of the pack corner who could make some plays, but who could also be beaten pretty easily too. When Detroit made their final
cutdowns, they felt that they could live without him.
What is not known is how fiercely the Lions are pursuing former Oakland Raider Greg Biekert. As we told you here exclusively last week, Biekert was on the Lions radar screen the moment he refused to take a pay cut from the Raiders. Biekert was indeed let go by the Raiders on Sunday and Lions officials were in immediate contact.
According to league sources, including some connected with the Minnesota Vikings, the Lions and Vikings are in a pitched battle for Biekert's services. Biekert reportedly favors the Vikings because his former defensive coordinator, Willie Shaw, is in Minnesota and the team appears to be in a better position to make the playoffs than Detroit.
However, Detroit is reportedly offering Biekert $2.5 million on a three-year deal. That is the kind of money Biekert is trying to recoup since he lost his $2.5 million base when he was released by Oakland. The Vikings would only offer a little over the veteran minimum.
What would happen to Chris Claiborne if the Lions acquired Biekert? Biekert plays the middle and Claiborne has already been through playing the outside and has made no secret of his desire to stay in the middle. The 6' 2" 255 lb ten-year veteran is known for being a "quarterback" on defense and getting his team into the proper defense, a role Claiborne also relishes.
For all those reasons, Detroit would likely attempt to convince Biekert to move to the strong side, another reason he has not yet decided on Detroit.
PAWS FOR THOUGHT: If the Lions want a good young safety prospect with a great name, former Miami hurricane safety Al Blades, the nephew of former Lions great Bennie Blades was released by the 49'ers on Sunday. What about tight end Ricky Dudley? Dudley, the Browns starting tight end last season, was released in Cleveland final cuts. Certainly Detroit could use a player with Dudley's talent at one of their weakest positions.