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When it comes to the Lions (and the Rams, for that matter), the link is due to that club's head coach, Jim Schwartz. Schwartz was the Titans' DC prior to his current vocation, and in comments from the NFL scouting combine this week, he did not rule out targeting his former charge in free agency.

"We haven't gone all in on any one person. We haven't also discounted any player or person. Anybody that fits our scheme, anybody that makes sense for us, we've done a good job of evaluating those guys," Schwartz explained, per "If Cortland ends up being one of those, then we'll be in that position with him."

Whether they can fit Finnegan's expected salary in with all their other big-ticket contributors remains to be seen.

- Tim Kavanagh
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Who would like to see Finnegan in a lions uniform?
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ESPN Rumor Central

Will Lions Tag Avril?

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press cites two sources who stopped short of saying that the Detroit Lions definitely will place the franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril. However, his sources believe the Lions likely will use the tag on Avril if the two sides can't come to terms on a long-term contract extension before the franchise-tag period ends. Teams can slap the tag on one of their players between Monday and March 5.

"This is new to me," Avril said today. "My agent hasn't called me and told me anything. I mean, we'll see. We'll see how it goes. If they franchise me, that doesn't necessarily mean I'll be playing under that, because that just gives them more time to negotiate or whatnot. So we'll see how it goes."

It's not clear if these are simply public negotiating tactics by the Lions or if they really are committed to the tag as an option. Regardless, the Lions have made keeping Avril in The D a top priority and Avril has said he won't give a "hometown discount" to land an extension over the tag. Avril led the Lions with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2011.

- Tom Carpenter
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Finnegan and Houston sounds a lot better then Wright and Houston
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Lions willing to deal CB Smith

By Jason La Canfora |
Published: February 25th, 2012 | Tags: 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, Alphonso Smith, Atlanta Falcons, Brent Grimes, Dan Gronkowski, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Jason La Canfora, Thomas Dimitroff

INDIANAPOLIS — The Lions are willing to move CB Alphonso Smith and have shopped him to at least one team, a league source said Saturday.

Smith was a second-round draft pick by Broncos in 2009 and was traded to Detroit for TE Dan Gronkowski. The free-agent market for cornerbacks could be quite thin depending on how many players get the franchise tag.

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff conceded Friday the franchise tag is a possibility for CB Brent Grimes if a long-term deal isn’t reached.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora
Lev Kozlov's profile photoAdam Gignac's profile photoDetroit Lions News and Rumors's profile photo
I was high on Smith last year and he had a couple good games this year. He's inconsistent but for $700k I would keep him around because hes a playmaker. Lions have no depth at corner and no money to sign a premier corner like Finnegan. I would give him another year unless the Lions could get some trade value for him.
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What do you guys think are the lions biggest needs this off season?
Stephen Burton's profile photoNicholas Palmersheim's profile photo
Staying healthy and out of trouble

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Do you believe the lions should take a corner in the first? I wouldn't be disappointed if the lions took him. Though I believe a bigger need is linebacker and a player like Vontaze Berfict could significantly make the lions defense better. I love Tulloch but he doesn't have the speed and athleticism to match up with today's tight ends. When you look at today's top defenses (Ravens, 49ers) they all have elite middle linebackers.
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