Nathan Vasher pays a visit to the Lions
The Detroit Lions have brought in veteran cornerback Nathan Vasher for a visit, according to an NFL source.
The Lions met with Vasher three days before they will open the season against his former team, the Chicago Bears, at Soldier Field. Vasher, who made two interceptions in preseason for San Diego, was one of the final cuts by the Chargers.
A former Pro Bowl performer, Vasher was injured during the 2008 season and lost his starting job to Zack Bowman last season with the Bears. The team released him early in the offseason and he signed in San Diego in late March. The Chargers elected to go with younger reserves who can make a bigger impact on special teams. Vasher, 28, has 19 career interceptions.
The Lions return only one member of their secondary from last season – safety Louis Delmas – but don’t confuse change with progress just yet. The Lions will start Chris Houston and Jonathan Wade at cornerback Sunday. Houston came over in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. The Lions have up a sixth-round draft pick and a conditional seventh rounder for him. Wade was not tendered as a restricted free agent by the St. Louis Rams, a team that can’t afford to let young defensive talent go. In other words, Detroit is rolling with some journeymen and questions linger.
“We’ll have a pretty good idea on Sunday,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said when asked how the secondary is shaping up. “We have turned over a lot since the last game of the year. We really only have one returning player there and there is a reason we turned over the rest of the secondary. It is because we didn’t think that we had the talent that we needed. We’ve got players from a lot of different places.
“I like where we are in the secondary. We’ve had some injuries in the preseason. We haven’t had them all on the field at the same time but hopefully this Sunday we’ll get to see all that work from the offseason and everything come to fruition.”
It could be the Lions just wanted to see where Vasher is. If the team is interested in signing him, they might wait until next week because as a vested veteran his salary for the 2010 season would be guaranteed if he is on the roster for Week 1.
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