DT help on the way?

Monday, July 27, 2009

With Shaun Rogers long gone, free-agent signee Grady Jackson facing a possible 4-game suspension, and the remainder of the DTs on the roster either insufficiently experienced or insufficiently, well sufficient to fit the new defensive scheme, the Lions are in desperate need for help at defensive tackle.  Veteran DT John Thornton already turned the Lions down, in part because he didn’t want to gain the fifteen-to-twenty pounds required to anchor the middle of the line.  The latest candidate to fill out a size XXXL jersey will have no need to gain weight; in fact he’ll have to lose quite a bit in order to slim down to the 330-pound target the Lions seem to have in mind.

Former Eagles and Saints DT Hollis Thomas has been on the market since the Saints released him shortly after the draft.  On the 17th, Scout.com’s own Adam Caplan reported that Thomas’ old team, the Eagles, worked him out—yet he was allowed to leave that session without a contract, and he reportedly weighed in well about his listed playing weight, 335 pounds.  Despite an extremely disappointing 2009 campaign in which he gathered only 14 tackles in 8 games (2 starts), Scout still lists Thomas amongst the best available talent at his position, partially due to a 50-tackle, 3-sack 2008 campaign.

According to PFT, the Rams are on Hollis’ four-team short list—it’s unknown if the Eagles are still in play after declining to sign him last week—and an ESPN Insider piece named the Lions as a natural fit.  John Niyo of the Detroit News wrote in his blog on Sunday that the Lions may keep a roster spot open for a veteran defensive lineman.

Frankly, the Lions have nothing to lose here; even if Hollis cannot get back down to a more athletic 335 pounds, he should at least be a usable big body on first down and short yardage situations.  A moderate one-year deal to at keep Grady Jackson’s sizable seat on the bench warm for four games seems like a no-brainer.  The only question is, can the Lions outdraw the other three teams on the list for his services?  We should find out this week.

Discuss it here, in The Den!