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News » Peterson in, Redding out

Peterson in, Redding out

Peterson in, Redding out
ALLEN PARK -- When Gunther Cunningham took the job as the Detroit Lions defensive coordinator, he said he likes to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Now, he has another weapon to do that.

Julian Peterson, the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker, was acquired by the Lions on Saturday in a trade that sent defensive tackle Cory Redding to the Seattle Seahawks. As part of the deal, the Lions shipped their fifth-round draft pick to the Seahawks.

Peterson, the former Michigan State star who will turn 31 in July, has not missed a game in the past three years and made the Pro Bowl each season. He became available because he refused to take a pay cut and, according to ESPN.com, the Seahawks planned to release him. Peterson is scheduled to make $6.5 million this season.

Although the Lions could have waited until Peterson became a free agent to try to sign him without compensation, it has been a weak free-agent pool at linebacker this season. The Lions did not want to lose a bidding war for Peterson.

Peterson will fill Detroit's vacancy at strongside linebacker. He brings a lot of versatility, including the ability to get after the quarterback. Peterson can play the run well, drop back in coverage and blitz.

He had five sacks last season and has a total of 46 in his nine-year career. He had a career-high 10 sacks in 2006 and 9 1/2 in 2007.

Adding Peterson throws a twist into the draft possibilities of Detroit's first overall pick. Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, who played the strong side in college, has been deemed the safest pick in the draft by several analysts. If the Lions were to take Curry, he would have to be moved to the middle.

"He played (middle linebacker) in nickel, so that's not really a projection for him," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said earlier this week. "He's played a lot of different things."

The other players who are considered the best prospects at No. 1 include Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford and left tackles Jason Smith (Baylor) and Eugene Monroe (Virginia).

Redding's six-year career in Detroit is highlighted by remarkable good timing.

Redding was an average defensive end for his first three years, but was moved to defensive tackle for 11 games in 2006. He had a tremendous run, recording eight sacks and was a disruptive force in the running game.

The Lions franchised Redding and awarded him a seven-year, $49 million contract that included $16 million in guaranteed money. In his 28 starts since signing that contract, Redding had four sacks. In fact, other than that 11-game hot streak (in which he had eight sacks), Redding only had eight sacks in his other 65 starts for the Lions.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 17, 2009

Ikaika Alama-Francis Name: Ikaika Alama-Francis
Position: DE
Age: 23
Experience: 2 years
College: Hawaii
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