By: Terry Foster
LaMarr Woodley wanted to come home so badly that he was willing to give the Lions the home town discount. Instead, he said his calls to the team went unreturned.
Dial tone please.
It meant the Lions were not interested regardless of price. Instead, Woodley went where he was wanted and signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. Was two years at $6 million too rich for the Lions’ blood?
Maybe now it is. They wanted to sign free agent wide receiver Golden Tate and resign their tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Maybe they could get the money later for Woodley. Or maybe there was no interest at all.
But I think it was a mistake not to at least talk to a local product. He grew up in Saginaw and played at Saginaw High School before moving on to the University of Michigan where Woodley was a first team All-American his senior season in 2006. The Steelers picked him up in the second round of the 2007 draft and he was a pillar in that defense until injuries set in.
Woodley is good but age is beginning to show. He missed six games in 2011 with a hamstring injury and finished last season on the injured list because of a calf injury.
He might not be what he once was but Woodley was worth kicking the tires on to see if there was anything left for a reduced price.