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Old March 24th, 2003, 12:13 PM   #1
WizardOfAz
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Lions Ink Diggs To Offer Sheet


Sunday, March 23

Diggs' deal includes $2.8 million signing bonus

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

While the Packers worried about receiving an offer sheet on defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, they were served with another.

Linebacker Na'il Diggs, a restricted free agent, signed a four-year, $10 million offer sheet with the Detroit Lions, including a $2.8 million signing bonus. The Packers, starting Sunday, have seven days to match.

If the Packers elect to let Diggs go to Detroit, they would receive a fourth-round choice in the draft this year as compensation.

The plan is for Diggs to be used as a strong-side linebacker by the Lions. Because of his speed, he is also expected to be on the field on third down.

The loss of Diggs could cause a further shakeup in the Packers' linebacking corps. They cut outside linebacker Nate Wayne and don't appear to be willing bring back Hardy Nickerson to play the middle.

Last week, the Packers signed Hannibal Havies to play the middle. The Packers also have another young linebacker with starting potential, Torrance Marshall, who has been told he might play outside instead of middle this season.

Diggs is trying to discourage the Packers from matching the offer.



John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 12:39 PM   #2
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The Packers might be pretty bad on defense next year.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 04:48 PM   #3
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If all it will cost is a 4th round pick,why didn't the Cards make an offer.Diggs has pretty much been a starter since day 1 in GB.I mean if we are looking to upgrade at LB then he'd be a guy to get.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 05:52 PM   #4
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I felt like there were quite a few opportunities to upgrade our team by making offer sheets to quite a few veterans on various teams who could have been had for 3rd - 7th round picks.. Since we have a bunch of cap room..we are one of the few teams that could have offered long term deals to guys ..and the teams they were on now could not have matched the offers.. All we know for sure is that the cards inquired about takeo spikes..and he was not interested.. I do not know if we inquired about guys and got feedback that they would not sign with us...or if we chose not to go this route..
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Old March 24th, 2003, 06:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cbus cardsfan
If all it will cost is a 4th round pick,why didn't the Cards make an offer.Diggs has pretty much been a starter since day 1 in GB.I mean if we are looking to upgrade at LB then he'd be a guy to get.
Because Diggs wouldn't crack our starting lineup. He's a big part of the reason Green Bay's run defense sucked.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 06:49 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Skkorpion
Because Diggs wouldn't crack our starting lineup. He's a big part of the reason Green Bay's run defense sucked.
If he is so good, why didn't Green Bay offer him the full tender? Skkorpion is absolutely correct. Diggs was suppost to be a 1st rounder coming out of college but scouts quickly picked up at that he is a crappy run defender
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Old March 24th, 2003, 06:56 PM   #7
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If Diggs is so bad, how did he win NFC defensive player of the month in December? An aging Hardy Nickerson, a banged up Nate Wayne, an injured Gilbert Brown, and KGB playing on running downs after Joe Johnson had a season ending injury are the reasons Green Bay had a poor run defense. It had nothing to do with Diggs. Diggs is better than any Cardinal linebacker. The reason Green Bay didn't offer him the full tender wasn't because Diggs doesn't deserve it, it's because Sherman was gambling to get more cap space with a lower tender offer.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 07:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Houdini
If Diggs is so bad, how did he win NFC defensive player of the month in December? An aging Hardy Nickerson, a banged up Nate Wayne, an injured Gilbert Brown, and KGB playing on running downs after Joe Johnson had a season ending injury are the reasons Green Bay had a poor run defense. It had nothing to do with Diggs. Diggs is better than any Cardinal linebacker. The reason Green Bay didn't offer him the full tender wasn't because Diggs doesn't deserve it, it's because Sherman was gambling to get more cap space with a lower tender offer.
He had a pretty good year, actually very comparable to Ray Thompson's season, though he is a better pass defender.

The Packer's linebacking corp looks to be in shambles right now, and the defensive line looks like it could be worse. If the Packers lose Holliday, KGB (not a slam dunk, but very possible), Wayne, Bowen, Williams, and Diggs, it will be a total disaster defensively.

It will be a pity to see Brett Favre (Houdini I actually own a Reggie White jersey ) watch opposing offenses tear the Packers defense apart. They weren't very good at the end of the season last year, but this defense looks much worse right now. Al Harris was a good take in trade, but he isn't enough to offset all these losses
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Old March 24th, 2003, 07:57 PM   #9
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Originally posted by Krangthebrain


If the Packers lose Holliday, KGB (not a slam dunk, but very possible), Wayne, Bowen, Williams, and Diggs, it will be a total disaster defensively.

You could be right. Diggs and KGB are the keys though. If they lose either of them they might be screwed. The Packers have made moves on defense though where they could be better without Williams, Nickerson, and possibly Wayne if they sign Rudd. Plus they still have a Pro Bowl safety in Sharper. Losing Holliday is a wash because they get former Pro Bowler Johnson back from injury. Sherman made some big gambles though in offering lower tenders to KGB and Diggs to try and get some cap space that could come back to bite him in the A$$ if he loses either of them.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Houdini
Diggs is better than any Cardinal linebacker.
I would take Ray Thompson over Diggs any day of the week. Ray Thompson is going to be a star in my opinion. He found a way to make plays ALL YEAR LONG last season. He has a tremendous upside...that is scary because he is already pretty damn good.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 09:09 PM   #11
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I would take Ray Thompson over Diggs any day of the week. Ray Thompson is going to be a star in my opinion. He found a way to make plays ALL YEAR LONG last season. He has a tremendous upside...that is scary because he is already pretty damn good.
I don't think you could go wrong with either one. Diggs had 11 and a half tackles for a loss and a couple of INTS last year, and I agree Thompson could be a star. I think what Thompson needs are a few Dlineman to help keep the offensive linemen off of him so he is free to make more plays instead of tackles. Urlacher wasn't nearly as good this year when his starting tackles went down with injuries in Chicago. That shows how much a linebacker needs his linemen. I think Thompson's play would jump if they ever get the Dline fixed.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 09:12 PM   #12
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Originally posted by Houdini
I don't think you could go wrong with either one. Diggs had 11 and a half tackles for a loss and a couple of INTS last year, and I agree Thompson could be a star. I think what Thompson needs are a few Dlineman to help keep the offensive linemen off of him so he is free to make more plays instead of tackles. Urlacher wasn't nearly as good this year when his starting tackles went down with injuries in Chicago. That shows how much a linebacker needs his linemen. I think Thompson's play would jump if they ever get the Dline fixed.
You are right on. Linebackers are better or worse depending on the talent level of their linemen.
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Old March 24th, 2003, 10:29 PM   #13
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I wish we would blitz Thompson more.... not just on passing downs, but three to five times a game and see if his speed translates into some pressure. I bet he could get 7-9 sacks if we did.
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Old March 25th, 2003, 07:57 AM   #14
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From the Milwaukee Paper:


In the meantime, the Packers want Diggs around because he is one of their more productive players and the only starting linebacker from last year still on the roster.

Why the Packers chose to make him the lowest possible qualifying offer remains a mystery considering their desire to retain him. If they don't match, the Packers would receive from the Lions a fourth-round draft choice; if they had made him an offer of $1.3 million, the compensation for acquiring Diggs would have been a first-round pick.

Diggs was angered with the low offer because he thought it showed the Packers didn't value him that highly, according to a source close to the linebacker.
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Old March 27th, 2003, 07:50 AM   #15
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Update From Det Paper


Lions hold breath on Diggs deal

March 26, 2003

BY CURT SYLVESTER
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

PHOENIX -- Matt Millen is working on a backup plan -- just in case.

It could be Charlie Clemons, the New Orleans middle linebacker who can play the run for two downs and rush the quarterback on third down.

It could be Earl Holmes, a veteran middle linebacker who played last season at Cleveland and could give the Lions a couple of good seasons as they rebuild.

Or it could be a player Millen hasn't talked to yet.

The Lions need an impact linebacker and -- as much as Millen hopes it will be Na'il Diggs, a restricted free agent from Green Bay -- he has an uneasy feeling the NFC North rival Packers won't let Diggs get away.

"I think they'll match," the Lions president said Tuesday. "I'll be surprised if they don't because they can handle the number."

The number is $10.5 million on a four-year contract -- the offer sheet Diggs signed Saturday with the Lions. The Packers have until Sunday to decide whether they will match the offer and keep Diggs, a three-year veteran strong-side linebacker, or let him go. In return, they would get the Lions' fourth-round pick in the April 26-27 draft.

Sources say Diggs has asked the Packers not to match . But it is not a prohibitive deal, and early indications are that Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman has decided to match it.

The only thing that might change Sherman's mind is the possible loss of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, the Packers' outstanding pass rusher, who is coveted by the Philadelphia Eagles. If the Eagles make a lucrative offer to Gbaja-Biamila, and the Packers have to choose between him and Diggs, the Lions would have a good chance of getting Diggs.

If Millen doesn't land Diggs, the Lions will be in a desperate situation at linebacker. They would have only one returning starter -- Barrett Green on the weak side -- and probably would pursue a middle linebacker.

Last year's middle linebacker, Chris Claiborne, has signed with the Minnesota Vikings.

"The big concern, in my opinion, is the middle guy, not an outside guy," Millen said, "because we'll have Brian (Williams), Brian's already signed."

Williams is an eight-year veteran strong-side linebacker but has started only seven games since suffering a torn patellar tendon in 1999. He also is coming off a broken leg.
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