At this point, it's uncertain if Larry Foote has been released or if he will be released next week by the Pittsburgh Steelers. They seem to be looking for a last-ditch trade, similar to what the Detroit Lions did with quarterback Jon Kitna, acquiring Anthony Henry from the Cowboys.
The Lions have reportedly offered a seventh round pick for Foote, which was turned down at some point, whether it was before, during or after the draft remains to be seen.
One thing is certain: Foote has stated he wants to become a Detroit Lion.
Today when Foote was asked about signing with the Lions he had this to say from his Michigan home.
“I would love to come home. My family is here. I just bought a house here. It would be great. And just to answer critics: I’m not a veteran trying to come home and cash out on my hometown team. I’m a baller first. I wouldn’t sacrifice that for nothing.”
Foote has Michigan connections, being born in Detroit and attending Pershing High School in the city. He also played his college ball at the University of Michigan.
Foote is a 6’1”, 240lbs, and a fourth-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team he has played his full career with.
He played special teams early in his career and had a breakout season in 2006, when he registered 102 tackles and three sacks.
Foote was due to make $2.885 million in 2009.
For the past two seasons, he has held off former first-round pick Lawrence Timmons from the starting job, who has cut into his playing time. The Steelers will give Timmons a full time role and they reduced their payroll by releasing Foote.
Foote believes he's a middle linebacker, but has said he can play outside.
The question is: Do the Lions feel Foote would fit into their defensive plans? Detroit plays a 4-3 defense, unlike Pittsburgh's 3-4.
Did Detroit know of Foote's release during the draft? It could explain why they passed on middle linebackers Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis.
The Lions still have a gaping hole the middle linebacker position. Though DeAndre Levy has talked with Detroit about a possible position change to the middle, after being selected in the third round.
Foote has a position waiting for him between Pro Bowler Julian Peterson and first round pick Ernie Sims if he wants it, his presence would continue to upgrade the defense in comparison to last season.
It also seems likely the Lions would still have room under the salary cap after not overpaying free-agents this offseason. Only Stephen Peterman received over $10 million dollars on his new contract, excluding the recently drafted players of course.
Foote seems a viable possibility for the Detroit Lions.
When asked about other teams Foote said, “If it’s a tie with other teams, the Lions are definitely going to win.”
We’ll have to wait and see.