Lions leaving backup quarterback options open

Posted Mar 26, 2014

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew says he's not opposed to drafting a backup quarterback for Matthew Stafford

ORLANDO -- Everything the Detroit Lions have said and done this offseason has been in line with the mentality of win now.

Just a couple weeks ago Lions president Tom Lewand, in an appearance at MGM’s TAP restaurant, said there’s no five-year plan in place. The expectation is for this team and new coaching staff to hit the ground running.

With that the pervading mentality throughout Allen Park, it would seem that securing the services of a veteran backup to Matthew Stafford would be the best course of action to fill the current vacant backup quarterback job.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, however, says he’s open to any and all possibilities when it comes to filling that role. That includes signing a veteran or drafting a developmental player.

“We just need a quality player that can be our backup and go in and function well for us and help us win a game,” Mayhew told beat reporters down at the NFL Annual Meetings.

“It could be a young guy, it could be a draft choice and it could be a veteran guy. We want to find the best guy for that role.”

The last four seasons that's been the veteran Hill, but he reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year deal to join the St. Louis Rams.

Mayhew has not left out the possibility of drafting a quarterback in May.

“We definitely will consider drafting a quarterback as a backup,” he said.

“Anytime you go with a younger guy he’s less proven. That’s the issue with Kellen (Moore). Kellen has shown a lot of growth and improvement over the time we’ve had him, but he actually hasn’t gone out and actually done it in games.”

Moore hasn’t been active for a regular-season game in either of his first two seasons after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2012.

“That’s the trade off with a guy like Shaun Hill,” Mayhew said. “You’ve got him this year, but do you have him next year, or how many more years is Shaun going to be able to play?

“Whereas we get a young guy and that’s your backup quarterback for the next three or four years.”

The Lions would also consider drafting a young quarterback and developing him as a long-term investment, one that could yield dividends down the road.

“A lot of teams have used that backup quarterback position to draft and develop a guy you can eventually trade for a draft choice,” Mayhew said. 

“There are different ways to go with that. We’ll keep weighing the situation and try to find the right fit.”