Linebacker options dwindling for Detroit

Many free-agent linebackers on the Detroit Lions wish list are quickly dropping off, signing elsewhere and leaving Detroit scrambling for alternatives. The Lions are still awaiting word from Alshermond Singleton, the Buccaneers' free-agent linebacker that is also being entertained by Dallas.

Looking to land a top quality outside linebacker to pair with still unsigned middle linebacker Chris Claiborne, the Detroit Lions are watching their options dissolve.

After the highly coveted Rosevelt Colvin left Detroit at the altar to sign with New England on Tuesday, the ball club has found their alternatives leaving elsewhere as well.

Jets' free-agent OLB James Darling, who visited with Lions on Wednesday, signed quickly with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday evening. The team also visited with Cleveland Browns cap casualty Earl Holmes, but he isn't considered a serious candidate.

Holmes, 28, is a very productive middle linebacker, but Detroit would rather re-sign Claiborne. Holmes is also considered slow of foot.

Recently released Packers' linebacker Nate Wayne is already scheduled to visit with Detroit, but according to reports, is already leaning towards the Philadelphia Eagles. And any interest in Mike Peterson was quelled when the former Indianapolis Colt was so enthralled with Jacksonville that he married himself to the Jaguars to a six-year contract on Wednesday.

However, hope does remain for Detroit that the fast moving free-agency period could be salvaged.

The Lions are still awaiting word from Buccaneers' free-agent linebacker Alshermond Singleton, who visited with the team last week.

Singleton has most recently met with the Dallas Cowboys, and reports persist that it's between the two ball clubs with Tampa Bay harboring an outside chance at a possible re-sign.

One NFC personnel director recently rated Singleton as the third-best available linebacker behind teammate Sheldon Quarles and Kansas City newcomer Shawn Barber.

Other available free-agent linebackers include Jamir Miller (Browns) and Charlie Clemons (Saints). Clemons, like Holmes, has already visited with Detroit and would only become viable if needed to replace Claiborne. It is unknown whether or not Detroit has an interest in Miller.


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