If early reports are accurate, premier cornerback Aqib Talib, formerly of the New England Patriots, signed on with the Denver Broncos. Within hours, the Pats made a move, signing free agent corner Darrelle Revis, whom the Tampa Bay Bucs had released for salary cap purposes.
Though considering his years with the NY Jets it seems like Revis has been around forever, he's only 28. Not exactly young by NFL standards, but hardly a geezer either. Actually, between knowledge of the game and physical ability, Revis is probably at his peak right now. And few would doubt he remains one of the best cover corners in the league. Let's not forget, there's no guarantees in the NFL. There's a reason it stands for Not For Long. Elite franchises like the Broncos and Patriots understand that the window of opportunity to be a champion is very often brief. Things can change a lot in just one year, so plug in the best players you can get and go for it NOW, while you have the chance. In the meantime, the Detroit Lions, who desperately need help in their secondary anyplace they can find it -- sat back and watched the world go by -- again. Or it could be that players like Talib and Revis wouldn't have the slightest interest in going to a team/city like Detroit.
Ah, but the Lions signed free-agent wide receiver Golden Tate, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks. Certainly the Lions were in need of quality help at the wide receiver position -- as they are at most other positions -- but this is an interesting acquistion on a few fronts.
No doubt Calvin "Megatron" Johnson is amongst the best, if not THE best wide receiver in the NFL these days. His height, speed, hands, moves, etc., make him a formidable weapon indeed. Between QB Matthew Stafford and Johnson himself, both have racked up big-time passing stats in the last few years. But as the Lions' record has shown -- one trick pony acts -- despite how good they may be -- aren't nearly enough to get a team anywhere close to championship caliber.
For that matter, Tate would seem to be the polar opposite of Johnson. Calvin's always been a mild-mannered, humble sort of guy. He goes out, does his job at a very high level, and pretty much shies away from the spotlight. Conversely, Golden (a seemingly fitting name) has a rather sizeable ego. Ever since his time at Notre Dame, and on to the NFL, Tate's been more in the mold of Terrell Owens than Barry Sanders. A showboat, a hot-dog, and even a taunter. When he makes a play, it's all about look at me, look at me. How his apparent need for being high-profile will fit into the Lions locker room with Calvin Johnson, the new coaches, and other players remains to be seen.
Yet that begs the biggest question of them all. Why would Tate leave Seattle to come to Detroit?
Seattle is a beautiful thriving town. Detroit is a bankrupt crime-ridden wasteland.
What's even more puzzling is -- why would a guy leave a Super Bowl champion team that looks to remain a major force for years to come -- only to go play for a team that has a losing culture dating back a half century?
Sure, maybe Tate and his agent wangled a few more bucks out of the Lions than the Seahawks were willing to pay him. Or perhaps the Seahawks decided they were better off without him and his ways, and he'll be replaced through the draft which is rich in wide receivers this year. Hard to say.
But leaving Seattle and that team, to come to Detroit and THAT team?
Wow. I know money talks, but c'mon. What's a million or two here and there when it comes to being a winner, and all the glory that comes with it? Talk about going from the penthouse to the outhouse.
The only ring he'll get in Detroit is in his bathtub or on his cell-phone. Bad move, Golden.