Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 6/19/12
Ideally, the Detroit Lions would have signed the top free-agent cornerback available this offseason to help replace Eric Wright and upgrade their secondary. But in a salary-cap world, theres only so much cash to go around on a roster that requires lucrative paydays for the likes of superstars such as Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh. So the Lions had to settle for Jacob Lacey, an unheralded defensive back who wasnt even drafted when he came out of Oklahoma State in 2009. Lacey spent the last three years with the Indianapolis Colts, making 27 starts, before signing a one-year deal as a free agent with Detroit in March. If youre a cornerback looking for a new job, theres no better opportunity these days than with the Lions, right? Lacey joins a secondary that was mostly blamed for the defense allowing 45 points in each of its final two games, including a playoff loss to New Orleans. I saw a team on the rise, a team with a great quarterback and leadership, a defense that has a great D-line and a lot of team chemistry, Lacey said of joining the Lions. These guys have been to the bottom and resurrected themselves. I think theyre headed in the right direction. I wanted to be a part of that. Lacey has been on the other end of another franchise transformation. That one was a little painful to experience at the end. During Laceys rookie year in 2009, when he made 85 tackles, three interceptions and scored a touchdown, the Colts finished 14-2 and went to the Super Bowl. Last year was just the opposite a 2-14 finish for a team that totally collapsed without injured quarterback Peyton Manning. Its hard, man, Lacey said. Going from winning 14 games straight my rookie year and playing in the Super Bowl (a loss to New Orleans) to losing 10 games straight my last year. It was definitely a transition there. I think, most of all, it showed me how difficult it is to play in the NFL and how things change every year. Every game is different. Youve got to be even-keel. Youve got to maintain a finer focus when things arent going as they were planned. Lacey is listed at 5-foot-10, 177 pounds, but he said last week that he actually weighs 184. During the Lions recent minicamp, Lacey was getting reps as the nickel, a fifth defensive back in passing situations. I like the nickel position, he said. It gives me a chance to get inside, to blitz some, to drop a little bit (in coverage), to get my eyes on the quarterback, move and try to make some plays underneath. Lacey made five interceptions and 221 combined tackles while playing in 43 games the last three seasons. He also scored two touchdowns. Before offering a contract, Lions general manager Martin Mayhew asked Lacey to identify what he does best on the field. Laceys response: Tackle. Mayhew was impressed by the answer because most cornerbacks are going to brag about their cover skills. I like the way the guy plays, Mayhew said. He started in big games and made big plays in big situations. With Wright going to Tampa Bay as a free agent, the Lions have a job open at right cornerback. Its the only position on both offense and defense in which last years starter isnt returning from a 10-win team. At this point, often-injured Aaron Berry, entering his third year, is being penciled in as Wright's replacement. However, Lacey is hoping to be in the mix, along with fourth-year player Alphonso Smith and possibly third-round draft pick Bill Bentley. Its going to make for an ongoing battle when training camp opens in late July. Im going to take every day as competition, Lacey said. Nobody wants to play under anybody. Its going to bring out the best in us.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sanchez views Broncos drafting QB as vote of confidence

Kirk Cousins: If I don't play well, I don't deserve to be back

Report: Tunsil won't be placed in NFL substance abuse program

Cuba won't allow defectors to rejoin the national team for WBC

Magic Johnson says he will mentor D'Angelo Russell


Antrel Rolle blames Bears facilities for serious injury

Claudio Ranieri may miss Leicester clinching title to visit his mother in Italy

D-Backs GM: Shelby Miller feeling 'pressure' over trade

Report: Nowitzki to opt out of contract, re-sign with Mavs

Enzo Amore suffers scary concussion at WWE Payback

Steve Kerr rules out Stephen Curry for Game 2

Durant talks about getting name-drop on Drake's album

Hulk Hogan suing Gawker for leaking tape of racist rant

Randy Johnson to have street at Chase Field named after him

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Barry Trotz is disappointed with Brooks Orpik suspension

Lou Lamoriello hopes the Leafs never get the first pick again

Questions for the second-round NBA playoffs series

Softball team loses title due to premature celebration

After avoiding losing, the Raptors can focus on winning

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Seahawks GM says no one will wear Lynch's No. 24

Austin Rivers was the real Game 6 MVP despite Clippers loss

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Capitals vs. Penguins

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker