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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Nolan Arenado throws out runner from seated position

NFL fans in Florida seem to like Tom Brady more than any of their three teams’ players

Austin Rivers responds to ‘false’ report about Chris Paul issues

Mayweather-McGregor fight is reportedly seeking a $10 million title sponsor

Kevin Durant laughs off Rockets’ acquisition of Chris Paul

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Terry Francona wearing heart monitor in case of another 'episode'

Albert Almora denies flipping off President Donald Trump during White House visit

Nationals minor league team will give out ‘Ode to Tommy John’ figurines

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

Chip Kelly defends Kaepernick: He was not a distraction

Steve Smith faces suspension should he unretire

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker