The Lions.com piece about the WR corps doesn't mention the one guy who is being mentioned often during camp: Devale Ellis. It also mentions the possibility of keeping 6 WR, but I'm not thinking the numbers game will support that -- although it is hard to tell since 3 of 4 starters wnet out injured at some point last season (CJ, Roy, and McDonald).
This spring before the draft, I said this about Ellis in regards to the Lions finding a new return man:
Lets not forget Devale Ellis, who is an excellent returner and more than adequate 5th WR is still on the roster as they hid him on IR last year. If he comes back from injury 100%, I think this discussion could be a moot point. I think the fact they didn't re-sign Walters, who was a cheap, quality 5th wideout suggests this may be the case.
I also think that if Ellis stays healthy, and continues to have such a great camp, the battle for 5th wideout is over -- and the battle will shift to if someone can show enough production on special teams to prompt them to keep a 6th wideout over an additional back.
As ClusterFox pointed out on the LB article, there are a wealth of able RB available on the FA market right now -- and it seems, in the last couple of years, to be a position easier to fill mid-season. Is it a long shot? Sure. Could it happen? You bet.
Notice, I haven't talked about the top 4 spots. At this point, it appears that Furrey, Roy, CJ and McDonald have those locked up. However, McDonald is still on PUP and there are conflicting reports that he may have a hand injury as well as his knee injury that is healing.
Reports I'm hearing out of camp indicate that Roy and CJ (especially a healthy, more experienced CJ) are primed to have monster years. Cornbread or Conjecture? Only filmseason can answer that one, but the potential is there (that dreaded P word), along with solid production. After cringing through having Mike McMahon on the field as a WR, it's nice to see the Lions with solid depth and options at the position.
This brings me to make conjecture on next season: Both Roy and McD contracts are up. With less 4 wide packages, they may ask Furrey to take a pay cut, maybe in exchange for an extension. I'm thinking they sign Roy long term if he has a good year. Even if they let McD walk, they will still have Ellis, and may be able to stash Middleton and Moore on the Practice Squad this year, and let them all duke it out for the 2 remaining spots, along with say Bellamy and another WR.
Yet, even as I look at this scenario -- are any of these guys good enough to step up and be a real co-#1 WR alongside CJ if the Lions don't resign Roy. What do you readers think??