Detroit Lions This Year's Atlanta Falcons?

peter weberContributor IJune 22, 2009

ALLEN PARK, MI - MAY 01:  Head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions looks on during rookie orientation camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on May 1, 2009 in Allen Park, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Sometimes I want certain things not to happen, just because I don't want to read it about 300 times between the Super Bowl and the start of the regular season. And I was so down when the Packers sealed the deal on the first 0-16 team ever, that I almost considered not reading any thing about the NFL this off season.

I knew it would be the only statement attached to any article about the Detroit Lions, because in every man's quest to talk football like John Madden, everything gets repeated and dumbed down so your mom can understand the article as well as I can.

On to business. I was scrolling through Fox Sports' list of players Detroit had signed this offseason, and except for a few players (Phillip Buchanon and Grady Jackson to name a few), nearly every player has "one year/terms unknown."

Now I'm not an expert, but I know the salary of a player is an exact science; for instance, the salary I'd receive in 2010 would have to be 125% of what I receive in 2009, and after a certain number of years in the league, your minimum base salary goes up.

But I do know that "terms unknown" means that this player is not being payed a lot.  They have one year to make an impression on the coaches, other players, and on the field. That's what the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons did last season, and it worked pretty well for them.

They are not there to earn $4 million in one year, then get cut and be able to afford to sit on their couch for seven years. They are there to play football, and Jim Schwartz will kick their sorry butt out of town if they have any other agenda than football. They are there to instill a great attitude for preparation every week, they have a chip on their shoulder (and that builds character), and they will finish, because that is the attitude of their new coach.

And way more than half of the new players on Detroit are making little money, and they know that if they slack off, they're cut. They are there to make a difference and they have none of the money that Matthew Stafford has.

And unfortunately, Stafford is the one that matters. He is why Detroit might only sometimes win.