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News » Kitna era ends, another deal possible

Kitna era ends, another deal possible

Kitna era ends, another deal possible
ALLEN PARK -- If everything had gone according to plan for the Detroit Lions on Saturday, they would have acquired two quarterbacks via trade, and then they would have traded away two quarterbacks. Confused? It was that kind of day at the Lions' practice facility.

Detroit traded veteran Jon Kitna to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for veteran cornerback Anthony Henry. Kitna has been on the trading block since the middle of last season and the Lions were expected to cut him by March 3 because of a $1 million roster bonus.

Henry is an eight-year veteran who has been a full-time starter for the past seven seasons. Last year, Henry started 15 games for the Cowboys and had five batted passes, one interception and two sacks.

The Lions also were involved in an interesting scenario involving quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Jay Cutler. According to Adam Schefter of NFL.com, the Lions wanted to acquire Cassel in a trade with the New England Patriots and then turn around and trade Cassel to the Denver Broncos for Cutler.

That deal, though, fell apart and Cassel was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs along with linebacker Mike Vrabel.

A potential deal with the Lions and Broncos might still be in the works.

"I've heard the rumors," Cutler told a Denver television station. "I know what they're trying to do. Even though I love Denver and I'd love to remain a Bronco, I know how this business works. If they want me to play somewhere else, so be it."

Lions spokesman Bill Keenist said the team had no comment on any reports involving a trade with Denver.

Meanwhile, the Lions did make some moves in the free agency market Saturday.

The Lions agreed to terms with receiver Bryant Johnson (San Francisco 49ers), cornerback Eric King (Tennessee Titans) and running back Maurice Morris (Seattle Seahawks).

Johnson, a six-year veteran, is expected to compete for the Lions No. 2 receiver spot. It's possible the Lions are still in the market for another free agent receiver, either Nate Washington (Pittsburgh Steelers), who visited the team Friday, or Michael Clayton (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) who is expected to visit at some point this weekend.

Johnson spent his first five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals but was with the 49ers last year, catching 45 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns. According to ProFootballTalk.com, Johnson will receive a three-year deal worth $9 million.

The Lions would not confirm the contract with Johnson, but they did announce the signing of King, a four-year veteran who has just three career starts and no interceptions.

King was a fifth-round draft choice by the Buffalo Bills, but spent the last three years with the Titans and was coached by then-defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz -- who is Detroit's new head coach.

King is expected to add depth to the secondary and play a key role on special teams but is not believed to be in the mix for either of Detroit's two vacant starting cornerback positions.

The 5-foot-11, 216-pound Morris rushed for 574 yards and caught 19 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns for Seattle in 2008. He spent seven seasons with the Seahawks, who drafted him out of Oregon in the first round (54th overall) of the 2002 NFL draft. He has 2,612 career rushing yards and five touchdowns on 634 attempts.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 3, 2009

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