Lions retain Detmer, will welcome two free-agents

The Detroit Lions have retained quarterback Ty Detmer, and have scheduled a visit with Colts' linebacker Mike Peterson. Packers' cornerback Tyrone Williams is also expected to visit Detroit tomorrow. Lions' insider Mike Fowler breaks down Detroit's 'game plan' as he team enters the free-agent market.

(ALLEN PARK) -- The Detroit Lions decided that they will indeed  pay a roster bonus due quarterback Ty Detmer tomorrow. 

Detmer, an 11-year veteran from Brigham Young serves as sort of a west coast offense mentor for young quarterbacks Mike McMahon and Joey Harrington.  His 11-year career has taken him to Green Bay, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Cleveland, all teams who run variations of the offensive scheme.  Reports by ESPN that Detmer had been released  by Detroit turned out to be unfounded.

Meanwhile, the Lions say they have a carefully crafted "game plan" that they are going to execute as the free agency signing period begins. Sources tell that the plan centers around a group of defensive players that the Lions plan to target beginning at 4:00pm EST.

Mike Peterson, the Indianapolis Colts linebacker is said to be atop the Lions wish list and is scheduled to visit the Lions at their Allen Park facility this evening. 

At 6' 1", 234, Peterson had a breakout year in Indianapolis notching 136 tackles and three interceptions at his weakside linebacker position.  Prior to being injured in 2001, Peterson, in just his second season in the league racked up 158 tackles giving him a great track record of productivity. Detroit will not just entertain Peterson, they will make a contract offer and try to get him to sign a contract.

What makes him even more attractive is that Peterson is only 27 years old and appears to have many more productive years ahead of him.  Tampa Bay's Shelton Quarles also in on Detroit's short list, but the Lions may not get a chance to visit with the 6' 1", 225 lb veteran from Vanderbilt.  Tampa Bay released two players to get under the cap so that they could make a serious run at re-signing him.

Cornerback Tyrone Williams is also expected in either this evening or tomorrow morning.  Williams, who was released by Green Bay is one of the top corners available in free agency.  Williams notched 69 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception in fifteen starts for the Packers.  Just 29 years old, Williams would provide veteran leadership and likely start at the demanding left corner if signed by Detroit.

Detroit's game plan calls for them to sign two top tier free agents and then hang out and troll the waters for bargains after the inital flurry of activity subsides.  The Lions have learned their lesson from past seasons when they went after the top free agents, overspent and then were unable to sign bargain players late, like Buffalo's Ruben Brown, a perennial pro-bowl offensive lineman, who all but begged the Lions to take him in 2000, but the team was capped out.

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