(ALLEN PARK, MI) -- As expected the Lions made a serious attempt to sign veteran linebacker Greg Beikert, offering the 10-year pro a contract totaling $2.75 million including $1.75 in the first season, but Beikert nixed the deal in favor of signing with the Minnesota Vikings and a reunion with his old defensive coach Willie Shaw.
While the Lions offer was initially higher, the Vikings stepped up their offer to top the Lions, signing the veteran to a 3-year $3.45 million deal and promising him the starting linebacker position. That made the deal too juicy for Beikert to turn down.
"I think this team has a good chance of flipping that (5-11) record around, and I wanted to be here for that," said Bieikert. Of all the places that showed interest, this was the place that intrigued me the most."
Additionally, had he come to Detroit, Beikert would have had to move to the strong side position to accommodate budding superstar Chris Claiborne, who occupies the middle for the Lions. That and playing for a team that had a realistically small chance to turn its record (2-14) around was too much of a challenge for Biekert.
The Lions then attempted to acquire Jamal Robertson, an impressive running back who flat out made the team in San Francisco, despite having all the odds stacked against him.
Roberts, the 2002 NFL Europe player of the year, tore up the preseason and impressed everyone in San Francisco. The rookie rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries against the always tough San Diego Chargers defense. When it looked as if Robertson was "on the bubble", the Lions inquired about availability but the 49'ers wanted too much in compensation for a player that is currently third string on their depth chart.
Keep an eye on this one, injuries at other positions have a way of forcing a team to make roster moves it would prefer not to. Robertson could still become a Lion.
NOTES: Former Lions' running back James Mungro, who was released on Sunday, has ageed to a deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Mungro would've been placed on the Lions practice squad, but was claimed off waivers before being able to do so.