Earlier this week, both Daniel Loper and Manny Ramirez signed their restricted free agent tenders. While neither proved to be a starting LG last season (Loper was especially disappointing to me), they would both be quality depth. Ramirez has the physical skills if he can develop more consistency and keep his head in the game. Loper fought a neck injury through the entire ifseason and throughout the regular season, and IF healthy could he improve enough to take over a bigger role?
There are also numerous rumors today about Mayhew making a trade with Seattle that does not involve first round picks at all — rather, that Mayhew is trying to acquire LG Rob Sims. Currently, Sims is a 4th year vet who has started all the games he has played in. While 2008 was lost to a torn pectoral muscle, he came back strong in 2009 and was rated the #8 LG byPro-Football Focus. As restricted free-agent, he is tendered at a 4th round level.
Seattle is moving to a zone-blocking scheme this year (sound familiar Lions fans?) and although Sims is a good LG, he doesn’t fit their new scheme. Martin Mayhew plays a very guarded game with his information. If there are leaks out there about this either Seattle is untrustworthy, or Mayhew wants it to be known. Personally, I would hazard Mr. Mayhew is trying to convince Seattle that Detroit’s pick #2 in round 5 is just as good as a 4th round pick in this draft, and that Detroit’s 4th is more of a 3rd. In other words, if we see this deal go down it will likely be for the Lions’ 5th rounder, or giving up their 4th, but also getting Seattle’s 5th or 6th in addition to Sims.
Will it work? Who knows. He worked with Seattle last year in the Redding-Peterson swap (Redding has since been released after a lackluster year adn signed with Baltimore). What I do know is that Mayhew is playing a guarded hand, and so far he’s gambled well overall on his trades – especially picks for players.