Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Dec 2006

Martz Ponders Potential with Faulk as a Lion

First Mike Martz recruits Mike Furrey and Az-Zahir Hakim to Detroit and ... Marshall Faulk might be next? I think Faulk's a Hall of Fame running back, but he has missed all of 2006 with a knee injury and he'll be 34 years old next season. Surely, the Lions can do better than that. Okay, maybe they can't.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 15 Dec 2006

24 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2006, 3:50pm by zlionsfan

Comments

1
by Jesse (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 4:46pm

Look for the Lions to sign Kurt Warner in the off-season

2
by mactbone (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 4:54pm

Maybe Turley will get cut by the Chiefs...

3
by PackMan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 5:01pm

Are you allowed to make it into the hall if you have played for the Lions??

(Barry Sanders was an exception because he walked away from them)

4
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 5:22pm

I heard Faulk talk about not being retired and wanting to play again, but I didn't figure it was sincere. If he officially retires, I think he'll owe the Rams a portion of the signing bonus from his last contract. I'm guessing this is sort of like the Terrell Davis non-retirement (wink, wink) situation.

If Faulk ever plays again, I'll be stunned.

5
by Pacifist Viking (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 5:45pm

For the Vikings' sake (as well as the Packers and the Bears), PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let the Lions start 2007 with Jon Kitna handing off to Marshall Faulk while Matt Millen looks on from the owner's box.

6
by ZS (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 6:26pm

Starting WRs being Mike Furrey, Roy Williams, and Josh McCown, of course. Although Calvin Johnson would look good in honolulu blue.

Not to mention Kevin Jones as a backup.

7
by Randy S. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 6:53pm

#6 - The reason they might pick up Faulk is because Kevin Jones has a lisfranc injury which could keep him out well into the 2007 season.

They already have a kid drafted that could potentially pick up the load (Calhoun), but he was injured early this season and will basically be a rookie still next season. It's tough for anyone to learn Martz' playbook, so bringing in some random free agent or drafting someone is maybe not the answer. Bringing in a guy like Faulk actually makes sense here, he knows the playbook and isn't meant to be a long-term solution.

8
by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/15/2006 - 7:33pm

This just in, Dieter Brock and Fred Dwyer in contract negotiations with Detroit. Former Rams greats say, "We're not that much older than Faulk and we're better than anything the Lions have now."

9
by buck norris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 4:08am

faulk has made too big of a statement on broadcast football. i don't see him back as a player ever. may take upshaws job, or be the next commissioner.

10
by Ryan Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 5:10am

Anyone think Faulk could play WR? I think he could easily be a 3rd WR on most teams in the league and that way he would be able to avoid the big hits that RBs'take.

11
by pcs (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 12:44pm

I don't think Martz was really considering bringing in Faulk. I think a reporter asked him after practice whether he'd like to have Faulk on his team if he was healthy and available, and he said, "Well, sure.":

"Are you kidding? I'd welcome that. Wouldn't that be fun, seeing (No.) 28 running down the field?"

It's how a beat writer churns out copy mid-week.

12
by RF (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 12:49pm

How close are these comments to tampering?

I don't know anything about the tampering rules, but could expressing interest in another team's player be considered such?

Martz goes beyond saying "He's a great player," a normal, mundane comment coaches will use when asked about the league's better talent. Martz says "Shoot, I'd ride a bicycle up to pick him up."

Couldn't Faulk easily say "That minimum contract offer is nice, but I already know of one team that is interested in me."

13
by James C (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 1:14pm

It looks at this stage that the Lions are on course for the top pick (Millen has finally climbed the mountain, not getting denied by any expansion franchise this time!). Ford can't seriously want Millen to stuff up another draft of the most valuable picks in each round. At what point would fans just feel utterly disrespected and taken for granted?

14
by Michael David Smith :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 1:40pm

"At what point would fans just feel utterly disrespected and taken for granted?"

About four years ago. William Clay Ford couldn't care less about the fans. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth because his grandfather was Henry Ford and he has the Lions as his pricey toy and he'll play with his toy how he pleases, fans be damned.

15
by Basilicus (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 6:23pm

#7:

Because that's what the Lions need. A short-term solution.

16
by RecoveringPackerFan (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 6:29pm

The Lions could help two franchises by hiring Art Shell as a player.

17
by Kal (not verified) :: Sat, 12/16/2006 - 8:30pm

#16 - sure, but who would the Raiders replace him with? They'd still have Davis to deal with. I suppose the Lions could replace Shell with a Shell cut-out and no one would be the wiser.

I'm so happy that Harrington escaped Detroit. I know he's not going to be the best QB ever, but he is at least outside of that hellhole of suck that turns players into crap within a season.

18
by NF (not verified) :: Sun, 12/17/2006 - 1:40am

#17:

Joey Harrington went to a team whose best QB since Marino retired has been either Gus Frerotte or Brian Griese. Their best receiver is also one of the most over-rated WRs in the NFL. Hardly a better place.

Of course, you could put Harrington on the Cardinals and he'd still only be barely average.

19
by Sundown (not verified) :: Sun, 12/17/2006 - 1:45am

7:

Why would the Lions be looking for a short term solution? This isn't a contender hoping to make it through a month until they're healthy again. Better to let a young guy who might still be around in a few years get some work than hope Faulk will magically become 5 years younger. They should take the money Faulk would have been paid and divy it up among the remaining season ticket holders. It wouldn't make any difference in the W-L record but would actually give the fans some tangible reason to continue to attend the games.

20
by Randy S. (not verified) :: Sun, 12/17/2006 - 3:44am

15, 19 - Kevin Jones is actually pretty good, and they already drafted a young RB last year (Brian Calhoun, 3rd round). Unfortunately both have injury concerns, especially Kevin Jones; Jones has the kind of injury that could hamper him for a long time, especially if they try to rush him back.

Faulk would be a logical guy to bring in, since he already knows the playbook and understands the Martz offense. He's a "short-term" solution because the Lions already have two young RBs in Jones and Calhoun and drafting another one would be retarded. It's not like Faulk would cost much, maybe Eddie George with the Cowboys money. Bring him in and platoon him with Calhoun and you have a servicable backfield until Jones is ready to return.

What are the alternatives? Spend a draft pick on a rookie when they have glaring needs throughout the defense? Spend money on a high priced free agent and have him and Jones tying up cap space? Find some cheap backup somewhere and hope he doesn't suck? Come on.

21
by islandbob (not verified) :: Sun, 12/17/2006 - 4:05am

Actually, while watching the Rams-Bears on MNF, the thought occurred to me that maybe that Ram running back would be an ideal short term solution for the Lions. But I was thinking of Stephen Davis.

22
by Parker (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 12:13pm

RE: 8

I think you are supposed to warn people before you mention Dieter Brock. And by the way, Steve Dils is pissed you didn't mention him.

23
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 2:34pm

There is no short-term solution for the Lions that would be ideal. Their problems go far beyond what one player could solve.

If they can get a cheap veteran that knows the system, by all means, pick him up. (I don't think Davis is familiar enough with Martz' offense, and I suspect he's a little slow to be running behind a bad OL.) The Lions can use as many NFL-caliber players as they can acquire for a reasonable price.

24
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 12/18/2006 - 3:50pm

The Lions originally drafted John Hadl? I feel as if I should hate the AFL for this, although I'm sure it's not their fault. (Strangely enough, Ford was not yet the owner. I wanted to blame it on him.)