The Detroit Free Press reports it is uncertain if Detroit would be interested in unrestricted free-agent DE Simeon Rice (Buccaneers), who has hit the availability market. He played significantly under Lions head coach Rod Marinelli while he served as the Tampa defensive line coach. The 6-foot 5, 268-pound DE had a career low of two sacks last season, while only playing half the year.
This 33-yard old Chicago native, who attended the University of Illinois, is a former third overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals (1996), and is expected to be picked up relatively soon. Rice put up a total of 26 sacks in ’04 and ’05; he still has the playmaking capabilities to impress and put up big numbers once again (still 4 forced fumbles in ’06). The All-Pro is coming off a shoulder injury and some team will take a high-reward, chance (not a big risk) on the pass-rushing specialist, as he will come back healthy, returning to his old, double-digit sack form.
Rice was cut mainly to clear up cap room and to let Clemson’s Gaines Adams (4th Overall Selection) take over the starting role at Right Defensive End. I think Rice’s injury is not a big concern, as he will fit nicely with the Detroit Lions.
Detroit needs to develop a stronger pass rush and improve their sack totals. Right now their defense is a mess (â€˜Dre Bly traded) and they have no veteran presence to be found. This unit is one of the worst, if not the worst defense in the entire NFL (sorry Coach Marinelli and GM Matt Millen) and at DE they have underachieving, former second round pick Kalimba Edwards starting at one end, and former second round Tampa Bay Buccaneer Dewayne While opposite of him.
They combined for a dismal, effort of eight sacks, and between them, Edwards (3 sacks) and White (5 sacks) will not generate enough of a consistent pass rush to help the Lions “D” be successful. Detroit now can start by bolstering their defense by picking up DE Simeon Rice and thank Tampa later for the favor.