In an expected but rather stunning development on Thursday, the Detroit Lions agreed to trade cornerback Dre Bly to the Denver Broncos in exchange for two veterans and a fifth round draft choice. The trade will be announced and finalized on Friday.
The move wasn't exactly a surprise, considering Detroit had allowed Bly to pursue trade opportunities. One of the team's few Pro Bowl talents, the Lions didn't believe that Bly fit the requirements of head coach Rod Marinelli's "Tampa Two" defensive scheme.
In exchange, the Lions garnered tackle George Foster, running back Tatum Bell and a fifth round draft choice in the upcoming NFL draft. Although many analysts predicted Detroit might swindle a second or third round pick for Bly, the amount tendered in return was well above what anyone expected.
According to Scout.com NFL analyst Adam Caplan, Foster "can start at right tackle," which could alter Detroit's draft plans significantly. Foster, a four-year veteran, was a first-round choice of the Broncos. The Lions were targeting Wisconsin's Joe Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick, but Foster's presence might allow the team to focus on other concerns, or trade down.
Bell, meanwhile, is a "change of pace" running back, said Caplan. Although Bell is considered injury prone, he has above average speed and is capable of holding the starting job if Jones (Lisfranc injury) is unable to start the regular season.