(ALLEN PARK) Several NFL sources and at least two published reports say that Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson, formerly of the Washington Redskins will sign a contract with the Detroit Lions as early as tomorrow.
Wilkinson, 6-4, 353, visited Detroit and Green Bay while also fielding interest from Jacksonville and his former team Washington before settling on negotiating a deal with Detroit.
Sources says that Wilkinson actually preferred Green Bay's personnel and chances of getting to the Super Bowl, but the cap-strapped Packers were unable to come up with enough money to satisfy Wilkinson's contract demands.
Green Bay is believed to have offered a deal worth close to $1 million for the season, but Detroit is said to have countered with an offer that could be as rich as $1.5 million.
An aside to all of this is whether or not Detroit would cut ties with veteran Luther Elliss. Elliss is slowly healing from a torn pectoral muscle and renegotiated his contract this offseason.
A team like Green Bay, who appear to have lost out on Wilkinson, would likely jump at the chance to land a player of Elliss' talents when healthy. That is the rub, Elliss hasn't been healthy for all of any of the past two seasons, suffering through a series of injuries including an elbow injury that limited his effectiveness in 2002. If Elliss returned to form and stayed with the team, Detroit would be loaded in the middle.
Detroit currently has rookie Cory Redding of Texas, third-year man Shaun Rogers, longtime veteran Kelvin Pritchett, second-year player Toby Golliday and ten-year veteran Shawn Price in camp. Robert Porcher also has indicated a willingness to play inside in certain packages if needed, according to head coach Steve Mariucci.
Golliday or Price would likely be released to make room for Wilkinson if he signs.