Lucas' refusal of trade a gutsy move

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Lucas You have to admire Carolina (for the moment) cornerback Ken Lucas' decision to say "thanks, but no thanks'' to the Detroit Lions.

The Panthers approached Lucas' agent, Bus Cook, about trading the veteran to Detroit and Lucas declined. Such a deal would have meant that Lucas could have gone to Detroit and collected his scheduled $5.7 million earnings this year.

But, Lucas, who is one of the NFL's more unique personalities, apparently has no interest in playing for a team that went 0-16 last year. Lucas' decision comes with more than a little bit of risk to it.

The Panthers probably will go ahead and release him -- unless somebody else trades for him very soon -- to free up $2.375 million in cap space. If that happens, Lucas would become a free agent.

That's where the gamble comes in. There's a very good chance Lucas, who showed some signs of decline late last season, may not make nearly as much if he's signed by another team. But, going back to Lucas' unique personality, this guy is quietly one of the league's most confident players. That may be leading him to perhaps inflate his potential value.

Or, maybe the guy feels like he already has earned enough money and just wants to make sure he's with a decent team next season.