Marinelli angry Lions lost out on Spikes
by Tom Kowalski | Opinion
Monday August 11, 2008, 3:56 PM
Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli has been in a foul mood for the last two days because the Lions failed to land free agent linebacker Takeo Spikes, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Lions, who also failed to sign free agent Jonathan Vilma -- a high priority target -- are a bit handcuffed because of the salary cap. The 49ers originally offered Spikes $1.5 million and might have increased that offer. The Lions only have between $3 million to $4 million under the cap and need to save most of that money for signings during the season in case of injury.
Signing Spikes would've solidified Detroit's linebacking corps. Spikes would've started at strong side linebacker and allowed Paris Lenon and rookie Jordon Dizon to stay in the middle. Lenon would've remained the starter until Dizon was comfortable with the complicated defense. Dizon might've been ready in two weeks or two months but, with Spikes on the roster, it wouldn't have been a big issue.
Now that Spikes isn't around, the Lions will likely be forced to move either Lenon or Dizon to the strong side. The Lions don't want to move Lenon until Dizon is ready for the middle and they don't want to move Dizon because it'll take away from his preparation of eventually taking over in the middle.