Lions safety depth chart muddied even further

Thursday, August 13, 2009

As reported by John Niyo of the Detroit News on his Twitter feed, the Lions have signed free agent safety Calvin Lowry.  The 5’-11”, 200-pound Lowry was drafted by the Titans fourth round of the 2006 draft.  Head coach Jim Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham are familiar with Lowry’s ability; the former Nittany Lion saw action in every game during his first two seasons—including 11 starts in 2007.  Still, he couldn’t crack the Titans’ roster for 2008, and the Broncos acquired him off waivers.  The Broncos released him late in the 2008 season to make a roster space for an injured Patrick Hillis’ replacement. He was picked up by the Jaguars, but recently released.

With Daniel Bullocks’s injury, the Lions were down one safety.  But, between rookie Louis Delmas, veteran Marquand Manuel, holdovers Kalvin Pearson and Stuart Schweigart, and rumors of CB Anthony Henry getting reps at safety, it doesn’t seem as though replacing Bullocks—who is not yet on IR—would be a high priority.  However, Pearson is considered a pure strong-side safety, and that limits his utility in the symmetrical Schwartz/Cunningham defense.  Lowry has started at both free and strong safety in the past, giving him greater versatility.

If Pearson’s role will be situational and/or special teams, and Henry stays at corner, then Lowry, Manuel, and Schweigart are probably competing for one starting spot and one—possibly two—reserve spots.  Notably, Den poster “shine8” predicted this signing the moment Lowry was released by the Jaguars.

Discuss it here, in The Den!