NFL Free Agency: Former NY Giants Safety Deon Grant on Detroit Lions' Radar

James Van Etten@jbvanettenContributor IMay 21, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 30: Deon Grant #34 of the New York Giants against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

According to, Super Bowl Champion Deon Grant is garnering some interest from the Detroit Lions.

The 12-year veteran has made his way around the league, coast-to-coast style.

Starting with his second-round selection by the Carolina Panthers in 2000, Grant continued his nomadic career in the NFL with stops in Jacksonville, Seattle and most recently The Big Apple.

At 33, he’s a little long in the tooth, but the safety position lacks some veteran leadership and Grant had been a captain during his time with the Seattle Seahawks.

Don’t minimize Martin Mayhew’s pursuit of veteran reinforcements on the back end of the defense. They have had OJ Atogwe and Sean Jones into Allen Park headquarters and, with the rumored interest in Grant, it looks like the Lions would like some veteran insurance at the safety spot.

Jim Schwartz should be very familiar with Grant as he was part of the National Championship team in 1998 at the University of Tennessee and an All-American in 1999 while Schwartz was a defensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans.

In the last two years with the Giants, Grant has averaged nearly 70 tackles per year and two interceptions. Not exactly jump-off-the-page numbers, but they’re better than Amari Spievey and Louis Delmas, both projected as starting safeties for 2012, and Grant did it while only starting nine games.

Don’t mistake that for being injury prone. His lengthy NFL career has had few injuries, and he started 160 straight games in his career along with three postseason starts, including last year's Super Bowl.

The biggest blemish on his resume is the accusation of faking an injury while with the Giants in 2011, which, if true, would not sit well with a no-nonsense defensive coordinator like Gunther Cunningham.

Don’t think the Lions’ roster is set just yet; there is a high probability of a veteran addition(s) to this roster that will play a significant role in the upcoming season. Whether or not Grant ends up being the choice of Mayhew and Schwartz, the Lions continue to work the phones as we head towards summer.

Detroit continues to show patience in adding the right player at the right time for, most importantly, the right price.