Trading Ernie Sims Is Latest of Right Moves Made by Detroit Lions

Ross MaghielseCorrespondent IApril 19, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28: Ernie Sims #50 of the Detroit Lions leaves the field after a loss to the Green Bay Packers on December 28, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 31-21. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The separation process from the Matt Millen Era continued Monday morning in Detroit.

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew dealt another former first-round pick made by his former boss—trading linebacker Ernie Sims in a three-team deal with Philadelphia and Denver.

In return for Sims, Detroit gets Denver tight-end Tony Scheffler and a seventh-round pick.

Sims—like Shaun Rogers, Kevin Jones, Mike Williams, and Charles Rogers before him—didn't live up to his billing with the Lions. He had his moments, yes, but all the talk about Sims in his career up to this point has revolved around his skills, not his contributions.

To this day, the best moments of his career were the NFL combine and his pro day.

In four seasons with the Lions, he has 281 total tackles and two and a half sacks. Last season, he made just 32 tackles in the 11 games.

Those numbers are nothing current Detroit linebackers Zach Follet, Landon Johnson, and Jordan Dizon cannot accomplish. And at a much cheaper price tag.

The move also brings in Scheffler, a pass-catching tight-end with a track record of success. Scheffler will form a nice duo with Brandon Pettigrew—giving Detroit stability and depth at one of the most important positions in Scott Linehan's offense.

The seventh-round pick is not a throwaway either. Prior to this trade, the Lions had just seven total picks in the draft and needed at least one more before Thursday to help augment their roster.

Unlike Millen, Mayhew does not look to gage players with a stopwatch and gym-shorts  performances. He looks for football players.

That is why he was willing cut Dwayne White after acquiring Kyle Vanden Bosch and later re-signed Jared DeVries. Same goes for Nate Burleson, Chris Houtson, and Shaun Hill. Those guys are good football players.

Less flash, more grit.

Detroit has a chance to add two more starters, likely both on defense, with its first and second-round picks this Thursday.

When a team is in a rebuilding stage, it must rebuild with new pieces. Trading Sims was the latest move in putting a truly rebuilt Detroit Lions team on the field in 2010.