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Former Lions DT Damon Harrison More Than Happy to Get Out of Detroit

Damon Harrison spent the first three weeks of training camp on the non-football injury list last summer, when he said in a new podcast he was trying to orchestrate a trade to a new team, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Harrison, who was released by the Lions in February, said on the “Green Light” podcast with former NFL player Chris Long that he never felt comfortable playing in Matt Patricia’s defense and had to get out of Detroit even though he respects Patricia as a coach.

“I came into camp in shape, but during the first three weeks of camp I think I kind of worked myself out of shape because I wasn’t doing anything,” Harrison told Long. “That was a time where, to be honest with you, we were trying to facilitate a trade. I was hell-bent on getting out of there.”

Harrison played last season only after signing a one-year contract extension that paid him about $2.2 million more than he was scheduled to make in 2019.

He had a down year with 49 tackles, his lowest total since his rookie season, and said he was worried about health problems his wife had with gallstones during camp.

“Mentally I was just out of it, man,” he said. “I couldn’t focus on football. I was too busy trying to get caught back up with everything. It was a rough training camp for me, the roughest training camp of my career, and I just spent a lot of time just pondering my future.”

Harrison said his issues with playing for the Lions started about the time he learned of his trade to Detroit.

The Lions traded a fifth-round pick to the New York Giants for Harrison in October of 2018. And while he immediately helped improve the Lions’ run defense, he said he never was comfortable with the scheme.

“To be completely honest with you, I didn’t want to go to Detroit because of some things that I heard from some guys in the past and some guys who were there,” Harrison said. “So when I got the call that that’s where I was traded, I didn’t answer the phone for a couple hours. (Lions general manager) Bob Quinn was calling me and I didn’t pick up the phone because I was trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”

What’s the Status of the Lions Receiving Core as Free Agency Closes In?

NFL.com has a new article out discussing how things look to be shaping up with free agency ready to start very soon, and how teams wide receiver cores are looking going into the process.

The Lions have a chance to make an impact in that department, hopefully to get a new weapon in 2020.

You can read the entire article HERE – for now here’s what the piece says about the Lions receiver situation.

Top three WRs in 2019: Kenny Golladay (65-1,190-11), Marvin Jones (62-779-9), Danny Amendola (62-678-1).

Despite ranking last in the NFL in terms of average yards of separation (2.3) in 2019, the Lions’ wideouts did manage to earn the second-most receiving touchdowns (22). The lack of immediate need at the position — buttressed by last month’s re-signing of Amendola — means they will likely focus elsewhere in free agency and the draft. This also could bolster Detroit’s ability to extract the maximum value of the third overall pick via potential trade.

Lions CB Darius Slay Getting Interest in Trade Rumors According to ESPN

The Lions have spoken with “multiple teams” about a potential trade for cornerback Darius Slay according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The 29-year-old Slay is entering the final season of his current contract and has sent out numerous smoke signals indicating he wants to become the highest-paid corner in the NFL.

The Lions have had ongoing extension talks with his agent but the most likely scenario appears to be a trade which nets the Lions some draft picks.

Slay held out from OTAs last spring protesting his contract but ultimately reported and had another strong season, playing in 14 games, allowing just an 86.9 QB rating in his coverage, and earning a Pro Bowl slot.

Lions GM Quinn Says Team Is Not Looking to Trade QB Matthew Stafford

Lions general manager Bob Quinn refuted a late-night report that the team is in talks to trade quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“100% False!!” Quinn wrote in a text message to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

WDIV-TV, citing sources close to both Stafford and the team, reported late Wednesday night that the Lions are in talks to deal Stafford and those discussions “have been underway for a couple weeks.”

Stafford’s wife, Kelly, addressed the report late Wednesday on Instagram, writing, “Well if detroit is done with us…” over a story listing three potential trade destinations for Stafford, and “I could stay in Cali..” to one suggestion the Los Angeles Chargers would be the most likely candidate to land Stafford in a trade.

Stafford, who turned 32 last week, is entering his 12th NFL season and played some of the best football of his career last year.

He threw for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns with five interceptions while setting a career-high for passer rating, but played in only eight games after fracturing bones in his back in a November loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Stafford, one of the NFL’s leading ironmen for most of his career, has suffered back injuries each of the last two seasons, and the Lions have the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, prompting speculation they could draft Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as his replacement.

Lions WR Kenny Golladay Not Concerned About Contract Extension

When asked about the possibility of a contract extension, Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay said he “wouldn’t mind being in Detroit for a while” according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com.

Golladay continued to say a new contract “should work itself out.” Originally a third-round pick in the 2017 draft out of Northern Illinois, Golladay is due just $2.1 million in the final year of his rookie contract but has played above his pay check for all three of his NFL seasons.

The Lions should look to extend their young receiver before the 2020 season kicks off, and Golladay should expect to receive $15 million or so annually. Golladay caught 65-of-116 targets for 1,190 yards and a league-high 11 receiving touchdowns last season while making under $1 million.

Lions Hire Brayden Coombs as New Special Teams Coordinator

The Lions have hired Brayden Coombs to be their next special teams coordinator according to detroitlions.com.

Coombs spent the last decade with the Cincinnat Bengals, but this will be his first coordinator job. He was linked to Matt LaFleur’s Packers staff last offseason before deciding to stay in Cincy.

Coombs is a riser in the coaching ranks. The Bengals had the best special teams DVOA under Coombs in 2019.

Lions Promote Hank Fraley and Billy Yates to Run the Team’s O-Line

The Lions on Tuesday promoted assistant coaches Hank Fraley and Billy Yates to lead their offensive line, the Associated Press reports.

Fraley had been Detroit’s assistant offensive line coach the previous two seasons. Yates was on Matt Patricia’s coaching staff the last two years.

Patricia fired six members of his staff shortly after finishing his second season with a 3-12-1 record. He later announced defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni was leaving the team to be closer to his family in Connecticut, and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson was taking an indefinite leave.

Video: DE Trey Flowers Talks About the Tough 2019 Season for the Lions

Tori Petry sits down with DE Trey Flowers to discuss how the 2019 season turned out, where things need to improve and what the defense can build on for the future.