Reports: Colvin signing imminent

Reports coming out of Chicago have Bears' free-agent linebacker Rosevelt Colvin nearing a deal with the Detroit Lions.'s Lions' insider Mike Fower has looked into this issue, and provides more details, per sources, regarding the Colvin issue along with other free-agent activity in Allen Park.

(ALLEN PARK)--Unconfirmed reports attributed to Chicago radio station 670AM "The Score" and ESPN Radio 1000 say that Bears linebacker Rosevelt Colvin has agreed in principle on a five-year $24.5 million contract and that the linebacker will fly to Detroit tommorrow morning to sign the deal., nor the Detroit Lions, have a confirmation on the report, however.

Colvin is indeed scheduled to fly into Detroit tommorrow after he missed a previously scheduled flight to Detroit that arrived about 5:45pm this evening. 

The Bear linebacker is one of the top remaining free agents at his position and the Lions have made signing a linebacker a priority.  Earlier, Detroit signed former St. Louis Rams corner Dre' Bly to a five-year deal.

If the reports are true, it would be a coup of sorts for the Lions. 

Colvin, 6' 3", 245, (64 tackles, 3 forced fumbles) has been highly sought after by at least five teams including the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

The speedy edge rusher, just 25 years old,  is known for his ability to get to the passer (11 sacks) and to play the running game from the strong side.  A defensive end in college at Purdue, Colvin made the transition to linebacker while keeping his pass rushing skills. 

Scheduled to visit with Colvin was college teammate Chike Okeafor, a defensive end who played for Lions head coach Steve Mariucci and the San Francisco 49ers last season.

Okeafor, 6' 4", 265, likely would be a replacement in the event Detroit lost restricted free agent end James Hall, who is drawing mild interest from teams around the league. Okeafor visit may also be scheduled to coincide with that of Colvin.

Detroit tendered Hall with a $1.3 million one-year offer, meaning he would require a first-round pick as compensation in the unlikely event he is signed by another team.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's Alshermond Singleton, another young (27 years old) speedy strongside linebacker visited Detroit today, but sources tell that Singleton was not offered a contract, but visited to gauge the Lions interest in him. 

Singleton was never expected to hit the free agent market, but Tampa Bay's Rich McKay's botched re-negotiation attempt with quarterback Brad Johnson failed to clear up the cap room Tampa desperately needs to keep the team from losing Singleton and fellow linebacker Shelton Quarles.  His preference is to stay in Tampa Bay, Detroit's preference is apparently to sign Colvin.

Other unconfirmed reports have Detroit and linebacker Chris Claiborne nearing a contract extension.  Those reports say Detroit and Claiborne will agree on a four-year deal averaging close to $3 million per season, but only after Detroit has finished its free agency pursuits. 

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