Daily mailbag: Sims and Detroit

Steve of Colorado Springs, Colo., checks in on reports that Detroit is interested in Seattle guard Rob Sims, a restricted free agent who would require fourth-round compensation. (A trade could change those terms, of course.)

Ok smart guy, let me ask you this. If the Lions acquire Rob Sims, what does that mean for Jeff Backus and draft day? ... If we get Sims, does that mean Martin Mayhew is simply keeping options open? Creating more of a mystery as to whom the Lions will take? Does it mean he wants Russell Okung and then move Jeff Backus to the right side?

I definitely like your conspiratorial line of thinking, Steve. This time of year, alternate theories are always fair game. But in this case, I think it's a simpler case of the Lions turning over every rock in their search to upgrade at left guard.

Last year's rotation, which included Manny Ramirez and Daniel Loper, simply didn't work. Both players have signed their RFA tenders and are eligible to participate in the offseason program, but the Lions clearly want and need more. They hosted free agent Chester Pitts on a visit last month, and in Sims they would have a pretty proficient left guard whom the Seahawks deem expendable because he doesn't fit their new zone-blocking scheme.

I could be wrong, but if the Lions acquire Sims, I assume he would slide into the left guard position with Backus remaining at left tackle. If they draft Okung as well, it eliminates the need to force him into a starting role immediately.