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Mr. Laz
03-23-2006, 03:31 PM
Lions: Notebook

Chiefs look at Harrington

With league meetings beginning on Sunday, trade talks for Lions QB should commence soon.

Mike O'Hara / The Detroit News

ALLEN PARK -- Trade talks involving Joey Harrington should accelerate with Harrington due back in the country before the weekend and the NFL's annual league meetings set to begin Sunday.

The meetings, which run through Wednesday in Orlando, Fla., bring together executives from all 32 teams and will give Lions president Matt Millen a forum for face-to-face talks with any team interested in acquiring Harrington.

Millen spoke last week with Kansas City Chiefs president Carl Peterson when the two were at the Penn State pro-day workouts.

A story in the Kansas City Star quoted Peterson as having an interest in Harrington, and it also indicated that Millen did not feel any immediate pressure to trade Harrington.

"Matt said, 'You've got time to do your research on him. Evaluate him and let me know what you think his value is,' " Peterson said in the Star story. "Obviously, the value to the Lions is a draft choice, compensation. They have not released him. They still have his rights.

"I liked Joey Harrington coming out of college exceedingly well. We had a very, very good grade on him. But that was four years ago. We've got to evaluate also what he's done in his time in the NFL and why he's done it and what are the extenuating circumstances.

"So we're evaluating that situation. Right now, I'm planning on Trent Green (the starter) for the next couple of years at least. We've signed a veteran backup in Damon Huard and also signed an exceedingly talented young quarterback in Casey Printers."

On Monday, Lions coach Rod Marinelli said the Lions do not plan to have Harrington back.

Harrington has been on vacation in Southeast Asia. He is expected to return home to Portland by Friday.

Before any trade can be made, Harrington would have to agree to renegotiate his contract. It has two years remaining, with base salaries of $4.45 million per year, and a bonus payment of $4 million due on June 15. No team would inherit that contract, or trade for Harrington without talking to him.

Free agents

The Lions made two free-agent signings Wednesday, keeping defensive end Jared DeVries and adding linebacker Paris Lenon of Green Bay.

DeVries signed a five-year contract. DeVries was drafted by the Lions in the third round in 1999 and has been a valuable part of the defensive-line rotation.

Injuries plagued him early in his career, but DeVries has missed only one game over the last two seasons and played all 16 in 2005. He had three sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Lenon, 28, signed a three-year contract. He was a backup for three years in Green Bay and started the last 11 games in 2005. Lenon had 65 tackles, six pass breakups and 1.5 sacks.

There has been no report of a meeting between the Lions and offensive lineman Larry Allen , a 10-time Pro Bowler released by Dallas on Tuesday.

It would not be surprising if the Lions talked to Allen. In the 2004 offseason, when Cowboys coach Bill Parcells indicated he did not want Allen back and let him explore trades with other teams, Allen visited the Lions.

Rules, playoffs

The owners will consider a proposal to expand the playoff field from the current 12-team format to 14 teams along with a number of rules changes. That includes using instant replay to review all plays, eliminating some false starts and expanding what constitutes the "horse-collar" tackle that was banned in 2005.

The expansion of replays, proposed by Tampa Bay, is not expected to pass.

In a conference call interview Wednesday, Atlanta Falcons president and general manager Rich McKay said the league has reviewed the officials' work for all of 2005 and given them high marks, but added there were some bad calls in the playoffs and Super Bowl XL.

The league is hoping to get more consistency in what is called and not called.

"There's no question that there were a couple calls in the Super Bowl and playoffs that we wish we had back," McKay said. "By and large, it was a very good year."

The call in the Super Bowl that was singled out was a penalty against Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck for a low block while he was tackling the Pittsburgh player who intercepted his pass. The call should not have been made, McKay said.

The league will look at eliminating some false-start penalties if they have no bearing on a play. One example is wide receivers who flinch and get back in their stance before the ball is snapped without the defensive team reacting.

The owners will begin the process of selecting a replacement for commissioner Paul Tagliabue , who announced this week his intention to retire by July 1.

You can reach Mike O'Hara at (313) 982-3810 or mike.ohara@detnews.com.

Rain Man
03-23-2006, 04:14 PM
Wow. Peterson meeting with Millen. The closest thing the world has ever seen to that was all of those Manhattan project meetings with Einstein, Fermi, Openheimer, and Bohr.