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

Hall of Fame coach: Stephen Curry is the best of all time

Reggie Bush on NFL future: ‘I’m not retiring’

Derek Fisher blasts Rondo over triangle offense criticism

Report: Marshawn Lynch hasn't spent any playing money

Ex-King says he could do 'much better job' than George Karl

Trainer thought Thomas Davis would not play in Super Bowl


Todd Gurley named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year

Durant, Westbrook on loss to Warriors: We're not scared

Report: Eagles interested in bringing back Nick Foles

Report: Manning hinted to teammates he plans to retire

Barry Sanders shares thoughts on Megatron retirement talk

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Cam Newton doesn't disappoint with Super Bowl outfit

Stephen Curry to serve as guest drummer for Panthers

Charlie Sheen tweets advice for Johnny Manziel

Cardale Jones predicts he will play in Super Bowl

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Marcin Gortat fires back at critic on Twitter

WATCH: Kerr told Warriors he was happy to have close game

Broncos could have tough decision with franchise tag

WATCH: Steph Curry does 'Dab' on court on eve of Super Bowl

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

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

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker